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UTV sells television operations to ITV

Oct 19, 2015 - The Deal Pipeline

Leading U.K. commercial terrestrial TV broadcaster ITV plc said on Monday, Oct. 19, it would pay £100 million ($154.9 million) for the TV operations of Northern Ireland's UTV Media plc.

The Belfast company confirmed talks with an unnamed suitor two months ago and said it will retain its radio and digital media operations following the sale. The deal includes the UTV brand and responsibility for UTV's defined benefit pension scheme, which had a deficit of £3.2 million as of June 30.

UTV broadcasts on both sides of the Irish border, through Channel 3 in the North and the recently launched UTV Ireland in the Irish Republic. It warned in June that the fledgling UTV Ireland would take longer to make a profit than it had anticipated and said that its lenders had therefore relaxed its net debt to Ebitda ceiling to a multiple of 4.5 from 3.5 for a ...