Discovery seals $14.6bn deal for Scripps

US media company Discovery Communications has today (Monday) sealed a deal to acquire cable television network owner Scripps Networks Interactive, with the agreement valued at $14.6bn (€12.5bn).

The purchase price implies a total cash and stock transaction value of $14.6bn, including the assumption of Scripps’ net debt of approximately $2.7bn.

Following closure of the deal, Scripps’ shareholders will own approximately 20 per cent of Discovery’s fully diluted common shares and Discovery’s shareholders will own approximately 80 per cent.

Earlier this month it was reported that Discovery and rival media company Viacom had held separate merger talks with Scripps.

However, Discovery, which has targeted Scripps on previous occasions, was last week said to have moved into exclusive discussions for a deal.

Discovery operates international sports broadcaster Eurosport, while Scripps, which owns various entertainment channels, last month participated in a funding round for US OTT service fuboTV.

Scripps also operates Polish media company TVN, a major sports broadcaster in the country.

“We believe that by coming together with Scripps, we will create a stronger, more flexible and more dynamic media company with a global content engine that can be fully optimised and monetised across our combined networks, products and services in every country around the world,” David Zaslav, president and chief executive of Discovery Communications, said.

Kenneth Lowe, chairman, president and chief executive of Scripps Networks Interactive, added: “This agreement with Discovery presents an unmatched opportunity for Scripps to grow its leading lifestyle brands across the world and on new and emerging channels including short-form, direct-to-consumer and streaming platforms.”

The takeover is subject to approval by Discovery and Scripps’ shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close by early 2018.