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Scripps closes deal for stake purchase in Poland’s TVN

US media group Scripps Networks Interactive has concluded its deal to buy a majority stake in Polish media company TVN for €584m ($653m).

Scripps has acquired the 52.7-per cent stake in Poland's second-largest private television broadcaster from local financial holding firm ITI and the Canal Plus group of French media company Vivendi.

Under the deal, Scripps will also assume €856m of debt. Under Polish law, it is required to launch a public tender offer to increase its ownership interest in TVN to 66 per cent within three months of closing on the initial purchase.

Scripps has previously announced its intention to acquire 100 per cent of TVN and delist it from the Warsaw Stock Exchange. No price for the offer has yet been set.

“The acquisition of TVN marks an important step forward in Scripps Networks Interactive’s international expansion strategy, and gives us a leadership position in one of the most important media markets in Central Europe,” Kenneth Lowe, president, chairman and chief executive of Scripps Networks Interactive, said.

The deal was first announced in March. In October last year, TVN applied for a licence for a new sports channel – TVN Sportive – to Poland’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT). TVN has not directly concerned itself with sport in the past.