Monday 14 October 2019

UTV beats off a massive shareholder revolt against directors' pay levels

Nick Webb

The blazing rows and intrigue on Coronation Street are merely a sideshow when compared with shareholder dissent at ISEQ-listed broadcaster UTV.

Last week, close to 36.2 per cent of shareholders voted against directors' pay at the firm, which airs shows from Coronation Street to Emmerdale. Another 34.99 per cent of shareholders opposed the re-election of chief executive John McCann.

Shane Reihill's TVC Holdings is the largest shareholder, with a near 18 per cent stake. Organo Investments, controlled by Peter Crowley and Neil Hughes' FL Partners holds a near 11 per cent stake.

Shares in the €180m valued firm have risen by close to 39 per cent this year. However, last week it announced that sales in the first quarter had fallen 5 per cent due to the "absence of a major sporting event" in the TV and radio schedules. Last year saw earnings boosted by the Euro 2012 Football championships in Poland and the Ukraine.

UTV has inked deals to extended its coverage of the Premiership football and teamed up with a Chinese player to expand its Talksport radio market.

UTV owns nine radio stations in Ireland including FM104 and LMFM.

The media company has said that the Irish advertising market remains "volatile".

Irish Independent

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