23 December, 2004
Ulster Television plc proposed acquisition of LMFM
Ulster Television plc ('UTV' or the 'UTV Group') announces that it has agreed
to acquire the entire issued share capital of Coderidge Limited ('LMFM'), a
radio broadcasting station based in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland, for a net
consideration of €9.5 million (Stg£6.6 million). The consideration will be paid
by UTV in cash and will be financed through bank facilities.
An application for approval of the acquisition has been submitted to the
Competition Authority. A response from the Competition Authority is expected in
January 2005 and a further announcement will be made by UTV at that time.
LMFM operates an independent local radio station in the Louth/Meath area and is
the most listened to radio station in that area. The coverage area is
immediately to the north of Dublin and has a population of 250,000. With a
market share of 27% for the 12 months to June 2004, LMFM has enjoyed an
impressive market share since it commenced broadcasting in 1989. LMFM was
awarded a renewal of its broadcasting license for another 10 years in September
The acquisition of LMFM represents a further step in the implementation of
UTV's stated strategy to expand its media interests on an all Ireland basis.
Together with the successfully relaunched Q102 in Dublin, the addition of LMFM
in Louth/Meath will further strengthen the position of the UTV Group on the
east coast 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.
For the 12 months to 31 August 2004, the revenue and operating profit
attributable to the net assets being acquired were €2.1 million (stg£1.5
million) and €0.5 million (stg£0.4 million) respectively.
The directors of UTV believe that LMFM represents another significant
opportunity for the UTV Group with both increased audience and revenue growth
potential at this station enhancing the scope and presence of UTV radio in
local and national markets.
Commenting on the proposed acquisition of LMFM, John McCann, Group Chief
Executive, UTV said:
'We are absolutely delighted to announce our acquisition of LMFM. This is an
important strategic move for UTV which together with our acquisitions of 96&
103FM in Cork, Live95FM in Limerick and Q102 in Dublin, further strengthens our
multi-media offering throughout Ireland. We look forward to working with the
management team of LMFM to build upon the successful radio service they have
established in the Meath/Louth region.'
Commenting on the proposed acquisition of LMFM, Michael Crawley, Chief
Executive, LMFM said:
'The success of the station to date is attributable to the delivery of a first
class local news and information service combined with playing great music. We
believe that UTV will provide the expertise and resources required to further
develop LMFM to the highest standards.'
UTV have received approval in principle for the acquisition from the
Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (the 'BCI') and full approval is expected to
Goodbody Corporate Finance advised UTV on this acquisition. Merrion Corporate
Finance advised LMFM on the transaction.
For further information contact:
Head of Press and PR
Telephone: 028 9026 2188
Tel: 020 7903 5145