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UTV £98m sale expected to be completed by March

UTV expects sale of its television assets to be completed by the end of March.

In a trading update released on Thursday morning, the broadcaster said that it expects the sale of UTV Television to ITV to net £98million.

It said it expected completion of the sale to take place in March, however, depending on progress it could happen in February.

"Good progress", the company said, had been made in respect of the required regulatory clearances.

The company has also announced that it would return £55m of cash to shareholders, which results in around 57p per share.

The sale also includes UTV Ireland, which was launched by the Belfast-based company in January 2015.

UTV is expected to become a focused radio group once the deal is completed.

Speaking about the deal UTV chairman Richard Huntington, said: "The strategic objectives provide a strong growth platform for the continuing group. 

"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.”

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