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ITV agrees TV3 sale to Doughty Hanson

ITV, a UK broadcaster, has sold its 45% stake in TV3 for £70m as part of a €265m transaction for the whole of the Irish television channel by Doughty Hanson.

ITV, a UK broadcaster, has agreed to sell its stake in TV3, the only privately-owned free-to-air national terrestrial commercial television channel in the Republic of Ireland, to Doughty Hanson, a European private equity firm.
 
Doughty Hanson has acquired ITV’s 45 percent stake in CanWest Granada Media Holdings, the holding company for the Irish commercial broadcaster, for £70 million (€103 million).
 

Second most-watched channel in the Republic of Ireland

Doughty Hanson purchased 100 percent of TV3 from ITV, CanWest and a consortium of private investors in a €265 million transaction, first announced in late May. Completion of the deal was subject to ITV waiving pre-emption rights, which it has now done in favour of the cash consideration.
 
ITV said that it has now almost fulfilled its plan of returning £500 million to shareholders through the disposal of non-core assets such as TV3 and Granada Learning, an educational publishing business, sold to US private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson in a £53 million deal in April.
 
According to reports in the Irish press in late May, Doughty Hanson beat off competition from Veronis Suhler Stevenson and rival broadcasters Setanta and Ulster Television to acquire TV3.
 
Launched in September1998, TV3 is the second most-watched channel in the Republic of Ireland after state broadcaster RTE1.
 
TV3 was the seventh investment from Doughty Hanson’s fourth private equity fund, Doughty Hanson & Co Fund IV, which closed on €1.6 billion in January 2005 and is over 60 percent invested. The fund’s most recent transaction was the purchase of the 20-20 Mobile Group for £347 million as part of a £1.5 billion acquisition of Caudwell Group, a UK mobile phone retailer, alongside Providence Equity Partners.