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Virgin Media gets go-ahead to acquire UTV Ireland

By Claire Williamson

Virgin Media has confirmed it has officially received the go-ahead to acquire UTV Ireland.

Virgin Media, which also owns TV3 in the Republic of Ireland, has received the regulatory and competition approval to press ahead.

It's understood the sale will be completed at the end of this month.

In October UTV said the sale to Virgin Media was linked to a total of 43 Belfast roles at risk of redundancy across a number of departments.

Read more:

More than 40 jobs under redundancy threat at broadcaster UTV  

The agreement also includes a comprehensive 10 year output deal in Ireland for ITV produced programming.

The purchase is expected to be funded through existing liquidity.

UTV and UTV Ireland’s 250 staff are now part of ITV’s global television business after a transition on February 29, 2016.

Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media in Ireland said he was "delighted" at the news.

He said: "We’re delighted to have received regulatory approval to acquire UTV Ireland. This follows our acquisition of TV3 last year and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in the Irish broadcasting sector.”

TV3 managing director Pat Kiely said: “The purchase of UTV Ireland is good news for viewers and will support TV3 to further compete against significant local and international competition.”

In October a UTV spokeswoman said: "We have today updated staff on the latest integration and restructuring plans, as well as the proposed sale of UTV Ireland to Virgin Media, which regrettably means that a number of roles are at risk of redundancy."

UTV have been contacted for comment.

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