Virgin Media has postponed the sale of the company, amid a credit crunch which has squeezed the private equity sector.
The announcement comes as Virgin's stock has dropped 19 per cent in a month a development which prompted the company's advisors Goldman Sachs and UBS to extend the deadline for the deal.
A statement from the firm said: "To enhance shareholder value, Virgin Media's financial advisors have recommended that Virgin Media extend the process until these parties can complete their proposals in a more stable debt market environment."
Firms believed to be interested in Virgin Media include Carlyle, a consortium involving Blackstone Group and KKR and cable operator Liberty Global.
News of the delay comes as Virgin this week confirmed that it had attracted an extra 51,000 broadband customers during the second quarter.
The new custom takes the firm's total subscriber base to 3.5 million.