ITV offloads Screenvision to Shamrock

Sells 50% of cinema advertising venture for $80 million

LONDON -- ITV boss Adam Crozier has continued his predecessor's strategy of off-loading non-core assets, announcing the sale of its 50% stake in cinema advertising venture Screenvision to Shamrock Capital Growth Fund II for $80 million cash.

Shamrock, a private equity fund focused on media, entertainment and communications, is headed by Stephen D. Royer and has investments including Publishing Group of America, marketing agency Media Storm, The Harlem Globetrotters and Nextwave Media. It is affiliated with Shamrock Holdings of California, Inc., which was founded by Roy E. Disney in 1978.

The deal remains subject to regulatory clearance, but Crozier said the funds would be used to pay down ITV's debt, which decreased by £175 million ($227 million) in the first six months of the year.

"This is another important step for ITV as we progress our transformation plan to focus the business on its core objectives of U.K. multiplatform broadcasting and global content," he told the London Stock Exchange.

Screenvision was originally put up for sale last year by ITV's then executive chairman Michael Grade.