ITV has taken its terrestrial multiplex operator SDN off the market. Instead, the troubled commercial broadcaster has entered into discussions with the trustees of the ITV Pension Fund over proposals that would see SDN provide asset backing to the scheme.
In a statement, ITV plc said the partnership would help reduce its pension deficit, while ITV would continue to consolidate SDN’s revenues and cashflows. “The Board believes that retaining SDN offers greater potential value for shareholders and is therefore no longer planning to dispose of the business.”
SDN, which carries channels including QVC, ESPN, Virgin 1 and the Top Up TV service, continues to trade in line with expectations. Its revenues for the year are likely to exceed £40 million (€43.2 million).
SDN was purchased in April 2005 for £134 million from a consortium of United Business Media and S4C. NTL Broadcast, which later became part of Arqiva, was also a shareholder.