UTV Media shareholders have approved the £100m sale of its television business to ITV.

At an extraordinary general meeting in London, 99.8% of the votes were in favour of the sale which will see UTV return a minimum of £40m (€56.8m) to its shareholders.

As part of the deal ITV will, subject to regulatory approval, take control of UTV Ireland, the TV channel launched in the Republic in Januaury.

UTV predicted the station would break even by the end of its first year.

It is now expected, according to a statement issued to the stock exchange by UTV, to lose €15m.