ITV Plc, the U.K.'s biggest commercial television broadcaster, sold its 50 percent stake in Arsenal Broadband Ltd., the operator of the Arsenal soccer club's Web site.
The stake was bought by KSE U.K. Inc., an investment vehicle controlled by U.S. billionaire Stan Kroenke, for a total consideration of 22.7 million pounds ($45.1 million.
ITV is selling stakes in businesses that aren't strategic to fund acquisitions and an expansion of production and Web operations. The company, which in March sold its 50 percent stake in the Liverpoolfc.tv Web site for 15.75 million pounds, said today it has raised over 620 million pounds by selling such assets since the broadcaster was formed in 2004.
ITV has received a total of 65 million pounds from KSE for interests in Arsenal, the broadcaster said.
ITV's shares rose 0.3 pence, or 0.5 percent, to 64.5 pence at 8:36 a.m. in London trading.
KSE said today that in cooperation with Arsenal it will further develop soccer in the U.S. and "capitalize on the experience and strength of Arsenal Football Club."
In the U.S. , Kroenke owns the Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer team, the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets and the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche. He's also co-owner of the National Football League's St. Louis Rams team.
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