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Liberty Global swoops for Ireland’s TV3

Telecommunications firm UPC Ireland, a wholly-owned subsidiary of media company Liberty Global, has entered into an agreement with British private equity fund manager Doughty Hanson to acquire Irish commercial broadcaster TV3.

The agreement stipulates a purchase price of €80m ($89.4m) with an additional contingent consideration of up to €7m payable based on TV3 hitting certain targets. On completion of the acquisition, TV3 will become part of Liberty Global.

TV3 operates two free-to-air television channels, the flagship TV3 channel and the youth-oriented 3e, and has an established presence in the Irish sports rights market. TV3 holds the Irish rights to the forthcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup national team tournament.

David McRedmond, TV3 chief executive, told the Irish Examiner newspaper: “UPC’s plan is to get behind us. It is part of a $42bn giant. They are buying us for growth and to invest in us for the long term.”

The acquisition will be subject to regulatory approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and a separate media plurality test by the Irish Government. It is expected the deal will be cleared in the coming months.