Arqiva has confirmed the transmission company is for sale. A statement, issued alongside its nine-month results confirmed shareholders were undertaking “a strategic review of their investment that may lead to a transaction”.
Strong results for the nine-months to March 31, 2017 included 11 per cent growth in contining operations and a 12 per cent rise in EBITDA to £351 million.
“Our ongoing and significant investment in digital broadcast infrastructure; 4G, 5G, in-building solutions and small cells underlines Arqiva’s commitment to ensuring that the UK truly has a vibrant and globally competitive economy,” said CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie.
Terrestrial revenues were up by 8 per cent – Arqiva’s two main DVB-T multiplexes had 31 operational videostreams between them – which it says demonstrates the on-going attractiveness to broadcasters of the Freeview DTT platform.
There has also been growth in DAB Digital Radio with BBC services reaching 97 per cent of the population and local commercial radio reaching the 90% level set by government last September.
Arqiva has also benefitted from the 700 MHz clearance programme. Arqiva is responsible for the spectrum planning, network design, programme management, infrastructure changes, service continuity, asset replacement and retuning of broadcast transmitters to enable broadcasters to move to a lower frequency.
However, Satellite and Media revenues grew by just 3 per cent. A new agreement was reached with Al Jazeera , Media Network for global teleport and distribution services and foreign exchange gains, but Arqiva is now pulling away from the low margin wholesale business.