The stock of U.K. cable operator Virgin Media jumped to a 52-week high Wednesday after it confirmed that it is in discussions about a possible sale to John Malone's Liberty Global.
The stock rose more than 15 percent to a new 52-week high of $44.60 (£28.26) in early trading.
The Financial Times had reported late Tuesday that international cable firm Liberty Global was preparing a $20 billion-plus bid for Virgin. The second-largest British pay TV firm competes with the likes of satellite TV giant BSkyB, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake.
"Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global Inc., a leading international cable company,
concerning a possible transaction," Virgin Media said in a statement entitled "Response to Press Speculation" on Tuesday. "Any such transaction would be subject to regulatory and other conditions."
It added that any further announcement would come “in due course.”