UPC Ireland, a subsidiary of international cable company Liberty Global, has acquired Dublin-based TV3 Group from UK private equity fund manager Doughty Hanson & Co.
The deal, worth €87 million (US$96 million), will see the Irish broadcaster joining All3Media-owned Liberty Global – one of the largest international cable companies operating in 14 countries with a market cap of more than US$42 billion.
Second only to pubcaster RTÉ1 in Ireland with an audience share of 12%, TV3 currently operates two free-to-air channels including the flagship TV3 and the youth-skewing 3e. As well, the company also transmits TV3+1 across UPC and Sky, and operates the VOD service 3Player.
Doughty Hanson first purchased TV3 Group in 2006 for €265 million ($292 million).
“The investment we are making today secures the long-term future of TV3 Group,” said Magnus Ternsjö, CEO of UPC Ireland, in a statement. “With its wide range of homegrown programming, TV3 holds a unique place in the heart of Irish viewers.”
“TV3′s employees have transformed the company from an old-model channel reliant on foreign programming into a contemporary media company originating its own content distributed across multiple platforms,” added TV3 CEO David McRedmond (pictured). “This deal is a great endorsement of TV3′s strategy and team by a leading global company, and is also an expression of confidence in the continuing turnaround in the Irish economy.”