Buyout firms reportedly hold preliminary talks for possible TV3 takeover

Reports suggest Doughty Hanson is unlikely to recoup the €265m it paid

Buyout firms reportedly hold preliminary talks for possible TV3 takeover

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Some major buyout firms are reportedly circling TV3 Ireland, after its current owner abandoned efforts to raise new funds.

Sky News reports that private equity groups, including Carlyle, have held preliminary discussions with Doughty Hanson about a possible takeover of TV3.

Doughty Hanson bought TV3 in 2006.

It is thought the loss of some key programmes - such as 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' - to UTV Ireland has dented its audience share.

Reports have suggested that Doughty Hanson is unlikely to recoup the €265m it paid for the business nearly a decade ago.

"We have reflected on several years of discussions with existing investors and, while today's announcement is disappointing for those investors that have committed to the current fundraising efforts, it pre-empts further prolonged uncertainty," Doughty Hanson CEO Stephen Marquardt said on Tuesday.

"We will now enter into a period of review with our employees and investors to explore the possibility of another fund in the future," he added.

A number of other media groups - including Liberty Global - are also reported to have expressed an interest in acquiring TV3.