Tuesday 28 September 2010
Adam Crozier said the Screenvision sell-off was 'another important step for ITV'. Photograph: Graeme Robertson
ITV has sold its 50% stake in cinema advertising business Screenvision to US private equity fund Shamrock Capital for $80m.
The sale of the business, which was originally earmarked for sale as far back as 2004 by the then ITV chief executive Charles Allen, will be used to pay down the broadcaster's debt.
Screeenvision has been sold to US-based Shamrock Capital Growth Fund II, which focuses on the media, entertainment and communications sectors, with the deal subject to anti-trust clearance.
"This is another important step for ITV as we progress our transformation plan to focus the business on its core objectives of UK multiplatform broadcasting and global content," said the ITV chief executive, Adam Crozier. "The proceeds of this sale will positively impact our net debt which decreased by £175m in the six months to 30 June 2010."
Former chief executive Michael Grade put Screenvision up for sale last year at the same time as Friends Reunited, which it sold for £25m to DC Thomson subsidiary Brightsolid, and Freeview multiplex business SDN. ITV subsequently decided to retain SDN and link it to its pension deficit in an "asset backing" initiative.
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