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Virgin Media to buy UTV Ireland for €10M

Asexpected, 's agreed toacquire free-to-air commercial broadcaster UTV Ireland from .

Thepurchase price of €10 million is expected to be funded through existingliquidity, Virgin Media said July 11. The transaction includes a comprehensive10-year output deal for Ireland with ITV-produced programming.

Theacquisition is subject to competition and regulatory approval from theCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Broadcasting Authorityof Ireland, in addition to a separate media plurality test by the Irishgovernment. The deal is expected to be approved in the coming months. Untilthen, UTV Ireland will remain under ITV ownership.

ChristySwords, ITV's director for broadcast finance and operations, said in a newsrelease the same day that having TV3 and UTV Ireland under the same ownership"offers the best prospect of delivering a strong and sustainable Irishcommercial broadcaster."