Discovery Communications to take over Scripps Networks

$14.6 billion transaction aims to create more dynamic global content portfolio
David Zaslav with Ken Lowe(SOURCE:AP IMAGES FOR DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS)
David Zaslav with Ken Lowe(SOURCE:AP IMAGES FOR DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS)

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Discovery Communications is acquiring  Scripps Networks for a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $14.6 billion. 

David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery Communications said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Discovery. Scripps is one of the best run media companies in the world with terrific assets, strong brands and popular talent and formats.  Our business is about great storytelling, authentic characters and passionate super fans. 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.”

 “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,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, Chairman, president and CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive.

The acquisition brings together Scripps' largely female audience of lifestyle channels such as HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network with Discovery's Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, which primarily has male viewers. The combined company will produce approximately 8,000 hours of original programming annually, be home to approximately 300,000 hours of library content, and will generate a combined 7 billion short-form video streams monthly. 

The combination is expected to create significant cost synergies, estimated at approximately $350 million. The purchase price implies a total transaction value of $14.6 billion, including the assumption of Scripps’ net debt of approximately $2.7 billion.

The transaction is expected to close by early 2018. Lowe would join the board of the combined company.

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