Ulster Television PLC
23 December 2002
Embargoed until 0700 23 December 2002
Ulster Television plc Acquisition of Lite FM
Ulster Television plc ('UTV' or the 'UTV Group') announces the acquisition of
the entire issued share capital of City Broadcasting Limited ('Lite FM'), a
radio broadcasting station based in Dublin, Ireland, for consideration of €14.0
million (Stg£9.0 million). In addition, UTV will assume liability for the net
debt in Lite FM of c. €1.3 million (Stg£0.8 million). The consideration was paid
by UTV in cash and was financed through bank facilities.
Lite FM operates an independent local radio station in Dublin and is the most
listened to Dublin radio station targeting the 35+ population demographic. With
a market share of 8% for the 12 months to June 2002, Lite FM has enjoyed an
impressive build up of its listenership since it commenced broadcasting in May
The acquisition of Lite FM 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 its other radio interests of County Media in Cork (population:
448,181) and Treaty in Limerick (population: 175,529), this addition of Lite FM
in Dublin (population: c. 1.1 million) will further strengthen the position of
the UTV Group in the main urban centres of Ireland. UTV is 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.
Lite FM's audited figures for the 19 months to 31 December 2001 show net
advertising revenue of €4.12m (stg£2.65m) and an operating loss of €1.31m
(stg£0.84m). At 31 December 2001, the audited net liabilities of Lite FM were
The directors of UTV believe that Lite FM represents a significant opportunity
for the UTV Group with both increased audience and revenue growth at this
relatively immature Dublin station enhancing the scope and presence of UTV radio
in local and national markets. 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.
Commenting on the proposed acquisition of Lite FM, John McCann, Group Chief
Executive of UTV said:
'We are absolutely delighted to announce our acquisition of Lite FM. This is an
important strategic move for UTV which together with our now completed
acquisitions of County Media and Treaty in Cork and Limerick, further
strengthens our multi-media offering throughout Ireland. We look forward to
working with the management team of Lite FM to build upon the excellent
reputation they have established in the Dublin region.'
Commenting on the proposed acquisition of Lite FM, Martin Block, Chief Executive
of Lite FM said:
'The success of the station to date is attributable to our commitment to the
delivery of a professional music radio station targeting the 35+ demographic.
We believe that UTV will provide the expertise and resources required to further
develop Lite FM to the highest standards continuing the soft contemporary adult
music format which has made it so popular in the Dublin region.'
UTV have received approval in principle for the acquisition from the
Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (the 'BCI') and full approval is expected to
Mergers clearance has been received under the Mergers and Take-overs (Control)
Goodbody Corporate Finance advised UTV on this acquisition. Merrion Corporate
Finance advised Lite FM on the transaction.
23 December 2002
For further information contact:
Head of Press and PR
Telephone: 04890 262188
Weber Shandwick Square Mile
Telephone: 020 7067 0732
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. Merrion Corporate Finance is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Merrion
This information is provided by RNS
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