Ulster Television PLC
23 November 2000
Ulster Television plc Proposed Acquisition of County Media Limited
Ulster Television plc ('UTV' or the 'Company') announces the proposed
acquisition of the entire issued share capital of County Media Limited
('County Media'), a radio broadcasting business based in Cork, Ireland, for a
consideration of IR£28.5 million. In addition, UTV will assume liability for
the net debt in County Media of circa IR£3 million.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr John McCann, Managing Director of UTV said:
'The acquisition of County Media is an important strategic development for
UTV, which will further strengthen our multi-media offering throughout
Ireland. We are delighted to have retained the proven management team, led by
Colm O'Conaill, who have generated an excellent profits track record through
the delivery of a first-class service to the people of the Cork region. This
acquisition will serve to enhance the earnings of UTV Group and reinforce our
position as a significant player in the indigenous market.'
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Colm O'Conaill, Managing Director of County
'This transaction is an exciting opportunity for us to broaden and deepen the
product offering to our listeners in Cork City and county. The investment by
UTV is an endorsement of the expertise of my colleagues at County Media,
without whom the company would not have achieved its current market leading
Colm O'Conaill and Ronan McManamy, County Media's managing director and
commercial director respectively, will remain with the company and will
continue to manage, together with the existing management team, the radio
broadcasting business for the foreseeable future.
Details of the Acquisition
The consideration will be payable by UTV in cash and loan notes on completion
and will be financed by a combination of UTV's own resources and bank
Delta Partners, a 35% shareholder in County Media, will receive cash on
completion. The remaining shareholders will be paid in loan notes, which will
be issued on terms satisfactory to UTV.
The acquisition is conditional inter alia, upon certain completion conditions
and regulatory clearances including the approval of the Independent Radio and
Television Commission and the approval of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade
and Employment under the Mergers and Take-overs (Control) Acts, 1978 to 1996.
Activities of County Media
County Media is an established and well-managed radio broadcasting business
with leading listenership positions in the Cork area, the largest county in
The company currently operates three independent local radio stations in Cork,
* 96FM in Cork City
* 103FM in North Cork
* 103FM in West Cork
Since their launch over a decade ago, Cork's 96FM and 103FM have become
established players in the local radio market in Cork.
In addition to the radio stations, County Media has its own advertising sales
operation, Broadcast Media Sales, which is based in Dublin. County Media also
publishes a freesheet newspaper, Inside Cork, which has a weekly distribution
throughout Cork City of 20,000 copies.
County Media's turnover for the financial year to 31 December 1999 was IR£5.4
million with operating profit of IR£1.5 million.
At 30 June 2000, the net assets of County Media Group, which include all of
its transmission equipment, were IR£0.6 million.
Strategic Rationale for the Acquisition
* The acquisition of County Media represents a key step in the
implementation of UTV's
stated strategy to expand its media interests on an all Ireland basis.
* The acquisition will further strengthen the position of the UTV Group as
indigenous market participant with a strong local focus and a commitment
development of the Irish broadcasting market.
* As a well resourced indigenous media group with brand leadership in key
enlarged UTV Group will be in a strong position to compete
effectively against its rapidly
consolidating UK and international media peers.
* Broadcasting is converging towards a single-medium delivery for voice,
text and vision.
The acquisition of County Media will further enable UTV to respond
consumer demands in this new multi-media market place.
Goodbody Corporate Finance is advising UTV and Communications Equity
Associates International is advising County Media in relation to this
23 November 2000
Head of Press and PR
Telephone: 02890 262188
Marie Therese Duffy Bobby Leach/Sarah Moriarty
Drury Communications Shandwick International
Telephone: 00 353 1 2605000 Telephone: 0044 207 905 2537