Wednesday 22 November 2017

Doughty Hanson will get less than half of TV3's €87m sale price

John Malone
John Malone
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Doughty Hanson, the UK private equity group that owns TV3, will get less than half of the station's €87m sale price. The private equity firm bought TV3 for about €265m in 2006.

UPC Ireland, a subsidiary of John Malone's Liberty Global, will take over 100pc of TV3's share capital as well as a debt pile that the Sunday Independent understands is approximately €45m. The American billionaire also owns the Westin Hotel and the Castlemartin estate formerly owned by Sir Anthony O'Reilly.

TV3's debt is owed to Ulster Bank and UK-headquartered Bluebay Asset Management, the Sunday Independent understands. A spokeswoman for Liberty said the deal involves the debt being "paid down on approval" - indicating that if the deal clears regulatory hurdles, Liberty will own the station debt-free.

TV3 management members including chief executive David McRedmond hold 9.5pc in the company and are in line for a payout.

The deal, which consists of an €80m upfront payment and a €7m payment conditional on TV3 meeting performance targets - has to be approved by competition authorities.

TV3 chief executive David McRedmond said the station "has secured an excellent long-term owner, which will help us to take advantage of the opportunities we see in Ireland and internationally.

"TV3's employees have transformed the company from an old-model channel reliant on foreign programming into a contemporary media company originating its own content distributed across multiple platforms. This deal is a great endorsement of TV3's strategy and team by a leading global company, and is also an expression of confidence in the turnaround in the Irish economy.

"I want to acknowledge the support and leadership from our current investors Doughty Hanson which guided TV3 through the most difficult recession."

UPC chief executive Magnus Ternsjo said the investment would secure TV3's long-term future.

Sunday Indo Business

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