Virgin Media’s share scheme windfall

Almost 2,500 Virgin Media employees could receive an average of £15,984 each as the media company is sold to US cable television giant Liberty Global.

Around 2,468 staff who signed up for a sharesave scheme in 2009 will share in the proceeds of the deal, which was agreed on 6 February.

These employees saved an average of £74 into the scheme each month for three years. When the scheme was launched in 2009, Virgin Media’s share price stood at £5.83. When it matured in November 2012, the option price was £30.58.

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The media company introduced its first sharesave scheme in 2008 with provider Yorkshire Building Society. It has launched a three-year scheme every year since. It has 2,713 employees in the 2010 scheme, which will mature in November 2013, and 4,306 employees in the 2011 scheme, which is due to mature in November 2014.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media said: “All those people who are in a share scheme now book a paper profit, but it is notional because they’re not selling yet. They will go on to hold shares in the combined group, provided the deal closes.”