Monday 26 September 2016

UTV shareholders back sale of TV assets to rival ITV for £100m

Paul O’Donoghue

Published 01/12/2015 | 15:23

The Northern Irish firm announced in October that it had agreed to sell its television channels
The Northern Irish firm announced in October that it had agreed to sell its television channels

Shareholders in UTV Media yesterday gave the thumbs up to the sale of the company’s television assets to rival broadcaster ITV.

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The Northern Irish firm announced in October that it had agreed to sell its television channels, which includes its new UTV Ireland station, to UK media giant ITV in a cash deal of up to £100m (€142m).

UTV will receive net cash proceeds of £98m (after fees) from the sale and will use these funds to pay down existing debt which totalled £60.2m as of the end of June.

Up to £55m in cash will be returned to shareholders once the sale goes through.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal at an emergency general meeting in London yesterday.

99.8pc of the votes cast were in favour of the deal, with just 0.01pc against.

The transaction is now expected to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

UTV Media’s will now change its name and focus on its radio businesses UTV Radio GB and UTV Radio Ireland, and its digital media businesses, Simply Zest and Tibus Digital.

Its radio stations in the Republic include FM104 and Q102.

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