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ITV sells 50% Screenvision stake

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ITV has sold its 50% shareholding in cinema advertising business Screenvision to a US private equity firm in a deal worth a reported $80m (£50.6m).

As part of the transaction, ITV will sell the stake to Shamrock Capital Growth Fund II, a private equity fund focused solely on media, entertainment and communications investing.

The remaining 50% shareholding will be retained by Technicolor, which will also continue to be Screenvision's main provider of film and digital services.

ITV said that it will use the proceeds of the sale to further reduce its debt, which has decreased by £175m in the six months to June 30. However, the deal is still awaiting regulatory approval.

"We have known and have followed the Screenvision story for many years and have always been impressed with its expansive network of over 150 theatrical partners and inventive advertising solutions it offers to its over 4,000 advertising partners," said Stephen Royer, Shamrock managing director.

"Screenvision is a compelling advertising buy given its captive audience reach, over 15,000 screens throughout the US, and its expansive sales offerings. We are thrilled to be partnering with the current management of Screenvision to build from here."

ITV chief executive Adam Crozier added: "We have always maintained our view that Screenvision is a strong business with great potential, but as we publicly stated, Screenvision was a non-core holdings of ITV and therefore, we are certain it is in great hands with its new owners."

Last year, former ITV chief executive Michael Grade put Screenvision up for sale at the same time as Friends Reunited and Freeview multiplex operator SDN.

Friends Reunited was sold for £25m to the DC Thomson-owned Brightsolid, but ITV opted to retain SDN as asset backing for its pension deficit.

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