UPC Ireland to rebrand as Virgin Media by year’s end

Communications group UPC Ireland is to formally rebrand as Virgin Media, across all of its offerings, in the coming months.

The move, which should be complete by year’s end, follows on from UPC becoming part of Virgin Media last December.

Both companies are owned by US communications giant Liberty Global which last month also reached agreement (via UPC) to acquire TV3, for a maximum consideration of €87m. Liberty bought Virgin Media back in 2013.

Yesterday’s announcement is being presented as more than a mere rebranding exercise, with UPC seeing it as a means of upping its competitive muscle in the Irish market and enhancing customer offerings.

It is also being viewed as a timely move ahead of the anticipated launch of UPC’s pending mobile offering before the close of the year.

“Introducing the Virgin Media brand to Ireland is a big investment in our business and our future,” Magnus Ternsjo, UPC Ireland’s chief executive, said yesterday.

He added: “In almost every corner of the world, the Virgin brand is famous for its entrepreneurial spirit in delivering more for customers.”

Mr Ternsjo is set to remain in place, as head of the Irish operations, but the exact wording of the new branding is still unknown.

Virgin Media’s chief executive, Tom Mockridge said “a step-change” is needed in the Irish business.

“Everyone at Liberty Global is immensely proud of what the team at UPC Ireland has achieved... Now, it’s time for a step-change. We have some exciting plans in the pipeline to boost competition for consumers, which we will announce in due course,” he said.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, also expressed his excitement over the move, yesterday; saying it will provide another boost to the Irish market.

“We are very proud of the way it [the brand] has revolutionised the UK market; improving customer service, increasing speeds and bringing more choice to our customers. Building on the strong platform in Ireland, I know we will do great things together with Liberty Global and shake-up the Irish market even further,” he said.

UPC, this month, reported a 1% year-on-year increase in subscriber numbers for the first half of the year.

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