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ITV buys UTV's TV business for £100m

ITV buys UTV's TV business for £100m
Jon Creamer
19 October 2015

ITV plc is to acquire 100% of Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland broadcaster UTV Ltd, which owns the television assets of UTV Media plc, for a total cash consideration of £100 million.

Once the deal is done, ITV will own 13 of the 15 regional licences for the Channel 3 network.

UTV is the leading commercial broadcaster in Northern Ireland, broadcasting ITV content alongside local programming. UTV Ltd also owns 100% of UTV Ireland, which launched a new dedicated channel for the Republic of Ireland this year.

The deal excludes UTV Media’s radio and digital businesses. ITV has agreed to take on the UTV TV pension liabilities as part of the deal.

The sale is subject to regulatory and UTV Media plc shareholder approval and the transaction will be financed through existing cash and debt facilities.

“We have a long-standing relationship with UTV, which has been the leading commercial broadcaster in Northern Ireland for many years thanks to its strong regional identity and blend of excellent local programming and strong network shows,” said ITV Chief Executive Adam Crozier. “UTV Television’s strategic objectives are closely aligned with our own and we are very pleased that they are joining the ITV family. We are looking forward to working with the team going forward.”

John McCann, Group Chief Executive of UTV Media plc, said: "The market leading success of our television business has been built over many years on the well-established formula of high quality local programming packaged around an attractive network schedule.  Becoming part of the ITV Family is by far the best way to take UTV’s Television business forward with an ongoing focus to provide brilliant television to viewers right across Ireland."

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