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Xtra-vision sold by Blockbuster for €32m

HOME entertainment specialist Xtra-vision has been sold by US group Blockbuster to a new company called Birchhall Investments in a deal worth €32m. Birchhall Investments is backed by NCB Ventures and Pageant Holdings, a client firm of NCB Wealth Management.

Xtra-vision has a leading position in the rental and sale of both films and games in Ireland and a growing presence in music, mobile telephony and consumer electronics.

With 186 stores located throughout the Republic of Ireland and the North, the company employs 1,400 full-time and part-time employees.

Xtra-vision has been acquired debt-fee and generated profits before tax of €6.2m in the 52-week period ended January 4, 2009. Birchhall Investments will pay a purchase price of up to €32m to acquire Xtra-vision, dependent on the performance of the business for the 52-week period ending January 3, 2010.

Tony Keating, newly appointed chief executive of Xtra-vision, said: "My management team looks forward to building on Xtra-vision's high brand recognition and visibility in the home entertainment market in Ireland."

Liam Booth, managing director of NCB Corporate Finance, which originated and executed the transaction on behalf of Birchhall Investments, said the success of the transaction "demonstrates that there is an appetite among investors for quality assets with the potential for growth and that funding is available for the right deals, notwithstanding the current challenging environment".

Peter O'Grady Walshe and Nick Furlong, directors of Pageant Holdings, have joined the board, along with Michael Murphy and Leo Hamill, who will represent NCB Ventures.

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