Belfast Telegraph

£100m sale of UTV's assets gets green light

By Paul O'Donoghue

Shareholders in UTV Media have given the thumbs-up to the sale of the company's television assets to ITV.

The Havelock House-based firm announced in October that it had agreed to sell its television channels, which includes its new UTV Ireland station, to the UK media giant in a cash deal of up to £100m.

UTV will receive net cash proceeds of £98m (after fees) from the sale and will use these funds to pay down existing debt which totalled £60.2m as of the end of June. Up to £55m in cash will be returned to shareholders once the sale goes through.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal at an emergency general meeting in London yesterday.

A total of 99.8% of the votes cast were in favour of the deal, with 0.01% against.

The deal is now expected to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

UTV Media will change its name and focus on its radio businesses, UTV Radio GB and UTV Radio Ireland - including U105 in Belfast - and its digital media businesses, Simply Zest and Tibus Digital.

The company also owns TALKSport in Great Britain.

Belfast Telegraph