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Manufacturing & Supply Chain

UTV shareholders to make €73m after sale to ITV

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UTV shareholders to make €73m after sale to ITV

January 15
12:36 2016
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UTV shareholders approve sale of television business for £100mShareholders are expected to make €73m following the sale of UTV to ITV, a company statement said. UTV Media has agreed to transfer its television assets for €133m by the end of March. The sale excludes its radio stations, which include UTV Radio GB and UTV Radio Ireland, and its digital media businesses.

A UTV update said: “The board proposes to return approximately £55 million (c. 57p per share) of cash to shareholders as soon as possible after completion of the sale.”

Approval from shareholders was obtained on December 1.

Chairman of UTV Richard Huntingford said: “The modest level of financial gearing and strong cash flow generation of the business will provide shareholders with an attractive combination of dividend and capital growth over the coming years.”

The Belfast-based firm was the first commercial television channel in Ireland when it launched as part of the ITV Network in 1959. It has been in local control since then. UTV Media has said it is one of the most successful media companies in the UK and Ireland, incorporating radio, television and new media.

UTV broadcaster-turned-leader of the Ulster Unionists, Mike Nesbitt, has warned the North needs a strong local independent television station to offer competition to the BBC.

The company also owns a series of radio stations in Ireland and Britain, including TalkSport, which it retains. The firm also launched a station in the Republic of Ireland, but it has struggled to find an audience.

UTV Media plc is one of the most successful media companies based in the UK and Ireland incorporating broadcasting and digital media assets across its radio and television divisions.

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