The Scottish news and drama television station, STV Group, has confirmed that the sale of its external lottery management business has been completed and ratified by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
The divestment, which was agreed subject to UKGC ratification in March, was hampered by COVID-19, which has brought significant levels of uncertainty.
The group said that the lottery is ‘not core to the future growth’ and that the divestment is important to future operations, especially in a post-COVID world in which economic struggle is a possibility.
An STV Group statement read: “The decision to divest followed a comprehensive review of the business which concluded that lottery operations were not core to the future growth prospects of the Group, and so the sale will enable the Group to focus exclusively on the ongoing delivery of STV’s strategic growth plan.
“The transaction combines a modest consideration for the business with a multi-year advertising contract.”
In light of the initial divestment agreement, the Group acknowledged it had left an £8.7m gap in its finances by means of an exceptional cost. This was to satisfy net debtors and monies owed from the Scottish Children’s Lottery.
A statement from the Groups accounts read: “In light of the ongoing disposal of the STV ELM, an exceptional finance cost of £8.7m has been recognised in the period reflecting an increase to full provision for the debtor due from the Scottish Children’s Lottery (SCL) at the end of the period.”
“A corresponding exceptional tax credit of £1.6m has also been recognised.”