Business

Thursday 29 September 2016

UTV to return €78m to shareholders after sale of TV assets including Irish station

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 13/11/2015 | 07:56

Last month, ITV announced it agreed to buy UTV Media’s television assets including UTV Ireland in a £100m deal.
Last month, ITV announced it agreed to buy UTV Media’s television assets including UTV Ireland in a £100m deal.

UTV Media plans to return as much as £55m (€77.6m) to shareholders after the sale of its television assets, which includes its fledgling Irish station, to UK broadcaster ITV.

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In a circular sent out today Northern Ireland-based UTV  Media announced that it would hold a meeting on December 1 to allow shareholders to vote on the sale of its television assets.

The assets are to be sold to ITV in a £100m deal.

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.

It said it expects to put in place new bank facilities for up to £30m in substitution for the existing bank facilities. It said it is in "advanced discussions with its banks in relation to those new facilities".

It said that it would also return a minimum of £40m to shareholders. It added that, provided that the proposed new bank facilities are in place, it will return "up to an additional £15m" to shareholders as soon as practicable following completion.

UTV recently said it expected full year losses at UTV Ireland to amount to £13m by the end of 2015, up from its initial estimate of £3m.

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