US media group Scripps Networks Interactive has agreed to buy a majority stake in Polish media company TVN for €584m ($653.5m).
Scripps will acquire the 52.7-per cent stake in Poland's second largest private television broadcaster from local financial holding firm ITI and French media group Vivendi.
Scripps will also assume €840m of debt, with the agreement subject to regulatory approvals. Following completion, Scripps will launch a mandatory public tender offer to further increase its ownership interest in TVN, as required under Polish law.
“This transaction is an important milestone in the ongoing strategic development of our international business, and provides us with substantial further scale in Europe,” Kenneth Lowe, chairman, president and chief executive of Scripps Networks Interactive, said.
Bertrand Meheut, chief executive of Canal Plus, added: “This transaction allows us to focus our strategy in Poland around pay-TV. Canal Plus Group will continue to hold a strong presence in this country, our second largest market after France. We are strongly committed to further develop NC Plus, the leading premium pay-TV broadcaster in Poland. We will continue our close cooperation with TVN, which owns 32 per cent of NC Plus.”
In October, TVN applied for a licence for a new sports channel. The broadcaster’s proposal to Poland’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) for TVN Sportive came with it having not directly concerned itself with sport in the past.