Friday 21 October 2016

Competition body approves UTV Ireland sale

Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30

UTV Ireland: expected to lose £13m in the calendar year of 2015.
UTV Ireland: expected to lose £13m in the calendar year of 2015.

ITV's £100m purchase of UTV Media's television assets - including UTV Ireland - has been approved by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

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CCPC approval was one of a number of hurdles the deal had to clear before completion. The CCPC said the deal "will not substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services in the State". ITV has said that it plans to "strengthen further" the fledgling UTV Ireland, which has struggled to attract audiences outside peak time and in financial terms performed more poorly than UTV Media initially expected.

In November it said it expected UTV Ireland to lose £13m in the calendar year of 2015.

On Monday UTV Ireland's head of channel, Mary Curtis, said she would step down from her role in February. "I am very proud of what we have achieved," Ms Curtis said.

"While I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with UTV Ireland, it was always my intention to review my position after the channel's first year on air," she said.

UTV Media chairman Richard Huntingford said the deal was the best way to maximise shareholder value when the sale was announced.

Irish Independent

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