Shake-up at NTL to cost 1,300 jobs in UK

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NTL, the cable TV and telecoms group, said yesterday it would shed 1,300 jobs, almost entirely in the UK, as it consolidates its $30bn (£19bn) worth of acquisitions in the last 18 months.

NTL, the cable TV and telecoms group, said yesterday it would shed 1,300 jobs, almost entirely in the UK, as it consolidates its $30bn (£19bn) worth of acquisitions in the last 18 months.

The company also said that after May's $8bn acquisition of the consumer arm of Cable & Wireless, it had identified "significant cost savings, which will become material during the latter half of 2001". Job cuts will come from duplicated technology and administration staff.

Barclay Knapp, the chief executive, said: "Over the past 18 months, we have completed 11 acquisitions, culminating in the CWC ConsumerCo deal, which doubled the size of our consumer business. The time was therefore right for us to carry out a review of the way we run our business with an eye toward realising all the cost benefits."

NTL's rival, Telewest Communications, yesterday announced the £200m acquisition of Eurobell from Deutsche Telekom. Eurobell has franchises over areas with 336,600 homes, in Crawley, west Kent, and south Devon. It has 171,000 residential customers and 10,500 business clients.

Adam Singer, chief executive of Telewest, said: "[We are] acquiring the last significant independent cable operator in Britain. Its franchise areas fit perfectly with our existing network in southern England, providing us with even more customers in some of the most affluent parts of the country."

Telewest has about 1.5 million residential customers, while NTL, which is listed in New York, has more than twice that number. There has been speculation the two will eventually merge.

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