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Ulster T.V. PLC (UTV)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 08 April, 2002

Ulster T.V. PLC

Proposed Acquisition

Ulster Television PLC
8 April 2002

 Ulster Television plc Proposed Acquisition of Treaty Radio

Ulster  Television plc ('UTV' or the 'UTV Group')  announces
the  proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital
of   Treaty   Radio  Limited  ('Treaty  Radio'),   a   radio
broadcasting  business  based  in  Limerick,  Ireland,   for
consideration  of  euro 15.74  million  (Stg£9.72  million).  In
addition,  UTV  will assume liability for the  net  debt  in
Treaty Radio of circa euro 1.17 million (Stg£0.73 million).

Treaty Radio operates an independent local radio station  in
Limerick  branded  as Live95FM. Since its  launch  in  1997,
Live95FM has become an established player in the local radio
market in Limerick.

The  consideration will be payable by UTV in cash  and  loan
notes  on  completion.  The cash element  will  be  financed
through  a combination of UTV's own resources and  new  bank
debt facilities. The loan notes will be bank guaranteed  and
issued on terms satisfactory to UTV and the shareholders  of
Treaty Radio.

The  acquisition  is  conditional inter alia,  upon  certain
completion  conditions and regulatory  clearances  including
the  approval of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (the

Treaty Radio

Live95FM is an established radio broadcasting business  with
a  leading listenership position in the Limerick region, one
of  the  largest counties in Ireland.  With close to  90,000
listeners,   Live95FM   has  consistently   built   up   its
listenership since it commenced broadcasting in  1997.   The
recent JNLR survey showed an increase in the station's share
of  the  Limerick  radio broadcasting  market  from  31%  in
December 1999 to 38% in December 2001.

Treaty  Radio's unaudited figures for the financial year  to
31  December  2001 show turnover of euro 2.61 million  (Stg£1.61
million)  and,  taking  into account  certain  non-recurring
items  with  a  value  of euro 0.10 million (Stg£0.07  million),
adjusted  EBITDA  and  operating  profit  of  euro 0.90  million
(Stg£0.56  million)  and euro 0.72 million   (Stg£0.45  million)
respectively. At 31 December 2001, the unaudited net  assets
of Treaty Radio were euro 0.73 million  (Stg£0.45 million).

Treaty Radio's audited figures for the financial year to  31
December  2000  show  turnover of  euro 2.26  million  (Stg£1.40
million),  EBITDA  of euro 0.14 million (Stg£0.09  million)  and
operating profit of euro 0.07 million (Stg£0.04 million). At  31
December  2001, the audited net assets of Treaty were  euro 0.30
million (Stg£0.19 million).

Completed Acquisition of County Media

In  addition, and as anticipated in its preliminary  results
statement  issued on 18 March 2002, UTV announces completion
of  the acquisition of the remaining 40% of County Media  on
the  terms  set  out in the announcement of 17  April  2001.
Completion of this transaction follows the recent  grant  of
regulatory approval by the BCI.

Strategic Rationale for the Acquisition of Treaty Radio

  *  The acquisition of Treaty Radio represents a further
     key step in the implementation of UTV's stated strategy to
     expand its media interests on an all Ireland basis.

  *  Together with the acquisition of County Media,  this
     transaction will further strengthen the position of the UTV
     Group as an important participant in the Irish radio market
     with  a  strong  local focus and a  commitment  to  the
     development of the Irish broadcasting market as a whole.

  *  The  directors  of  UTV believe  that  Treaty  Radio
     represents a significant growth opportunity.

  *  As  a  well  resourced Irish media group with  brand
     leadership in key regions, the enlarged UTV Group will be in
     an even stronger 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. It is important for UTV
     to ensure that it structures its business in a way that will
     enable it to respond effectively to consumer demands in this
     new multi-media market place.

Commenting on the proposed acquisition of Treaty Radio, John
McCann, Managing Director of UTV said:

'We  are  absolutely  delighted  to  announce  our  proposed
acquisition of Treaty Radio. This is an important  strategic
move   for   UTV  which  together  with  our  now  completed
acquisition of County Media, further strengthens our  multi-
media  offering  throughout  Ireland.  We  look  forward  to
working  with the management team of Treaty Radio  to  build
upon  the excellent local service they have provided to  the
people of the Limerick region.'

Commenting on the proposed acquisition of Treaty Radio,  Jim
Deegan, the Chairman of Treaty Radio said:

'The  success of the station to date is attributable to  our
commitment  to  the delivery of a professional  broadcasting
service  with  a  strong focus on issues of  local  concern.
Recent changes in broadcasting technologies and markets have
created  a  momentum  towards  corporate  consolidation.  We
believe   UTV  will  provide  the  expertise  and  resources
required   to  further  develop  Live95FM  to  the   highest
standards while at the same time maintaining a strong  local

Goodbody  Corporate Finance advised UTV  and  IBI  Corporate
Finance   advised   Treaty  Radio  in   relation   to   this

8 April 2002

For further information contact:

Orla McKibbin                                  Chris Lynch
Head of Press and PR           Weber Shandwick Square Mile
UTV plc                  Telephone:  0044   207   950 2820
Telephone: 04890 262188

Notes to Editor:

1.   Goodbody Corporate Finance is the corporate finance arm
     of  Goodbody Stockbrokers, a wholly owned subsidiary of
     Allied Irish Banks plc.

2.   IBI Corporate Finance is the corporate finance arm  of
     the Bank of Ireland Group.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange