UPC has agreed to acquire commercial broadcaster TV3 for €80m, with a further €7m payable if certain targets are met.
Liberty Global subsidiary UPC said it has agreed with Doughty Hanson to acquire TV3, which operates two free-to-air channels, its flagship TV3 channel and the youth-oriented 3e.
It also is present on the UPC player, Sky and has its own internet catch-up service 3Player.
The deal will cement TV3’s financial future and will give UPC its own mainstream channel in Ireland.
The changing channels of Ireland’s TV fortunes
The development is indicative of the shifting sands of broadcasting in Ireland.
TV3 last year launched a new soap Red Rock to replace Coronation Street, which moved to the new UTV Ireland TV channel.
‘With its wide range of home-grown programming, TV3 holds a unique place in the heart of Irish viewers’
– MAGNUS TERNSJÖ
TV3 also produces some of Ireland’s most established programmes, including Ireland AM and Xposé.
“The investment we are making today secures the long-term future of TV3,” said UPC Ireland CEO Magnus Ternsjö.
“With its wide range of home-grown programming, TV3 holds a unique place in the heart of Irish viewers. This is a terrific addition to the TV service we offer — which is already the best in Ireland.”
The acquisition will be subject to regulatory approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission as well as undergoing a separate media plurality test by the Irish Government.
The deal is expected to be cleared in the coming months.
UPC, which is owned by Liberty Global, operates under the auspices of Virgin Media in the UK.
Accountancy firm Deloitte was Liberty Global’s financial adviser in the TV3 acquisition.
“We are pleased that our investment in TV3 has come to this successful conclusion,” said Christopher Fielding, a principal at Dought Hanson.
“David McRedmond and his team have ably steered TV3 through the recession and, with our support, grown it for five consecutive years. We wish TV3 and Liberty Global every success in the future.”
TV remote image via Shutterstock