A resolution on the sale of UTV's television business to ITV has been passed with over 99 per cent of shareholders voting in favour of the deal.
The £100 million (€142 million) sale of UTV’s television assets was announced in October with the deal expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
UTV Media said last month it expects to return up to £55 million (€78 million) to shareholders once the acquisition has concluded.
The group is expecting to receive net cash proceeds of £98 million from the sale after fees are deducted. The proceeds are to be used to pay down some of UTV’s £60.2 million debt with a minimum of £40 million in cash to be returned to shareholders. The company expects to give an additional €15 million as soon as practicable provided that proposed new bank facilities are in place.
Following the sale, which came after the company’s television channel UTV Ireland issued a series of profit warnings, the group is to focus on its radio interests, which include TalkSport and six stations in the Republic, and its digital media business.
As ITV is also acquiring the UTV brand, the Belfast-based parent company of the remaining radio and digital interests will adopt a new name once the deal has been approved.
UTV Ireland is expected to post a loss of £11.5 million for 2015.