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Setanta Ireland buyout deal

July 3, 2009

Setanta’s founders and MCD boss Denis Desmond are expected to take full control of the sports giant’s Irish business after agreeing a buyout with original investors, including Doughty Hanson and Goldman Sachs.

The deal comes as secured debt holders, who are owed E220 million by Setanta, consider fresh “commercial terms” offered by the Irish team.

Once the new Irish venture is formally established, it is expected to immediately begin negotiations to get its carriage contract with BSkyB on a firm footing, after the UK broadcaster threatened to pull the plug on transmissions after a row over payments.

The new Setanta Ireland company will also be targeting substantial fresh investment and has already spoken to UPC owner Liberty Global as well as two Irish venture capital companies, according to reports.

Meanwhile some reports have said the total losses of the Setanta companies in administration total £520m (E612m).

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