ITV to sell TV3 stake to Doughty Hanson


ITV has agreed to sell its 45 per cent stake in TV3 to private equity group Doughty Hanson for about £70 million in cash.

In May, Doughty Hanson agreed to buy CanWest's 45 per cent stake in TV3. Under terms of the partnership, ITV had to match Doughty Hanson's offer or sell its own stake.

The remaining shareholders in TV3, which include U2 manager Paul McGuinness and Ossie Kilkenny, the band's accountant, have also agreed to sell their stake to Doughty Hanson.

ITV said the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the month, subject to regulatory approval, with the proceeds to fund ITV's current programme of returning £500 million to shareholders.

ITV shows like "Coronation Street" make up a large portion of TV3's programming under a programme supply agreement that expires at the end of 2007.