Discovery to buy Scripps, home of HGTV, in $14.6B deal

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   July 31, 2017 at 9:41 AM
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July 31 (UPI) -- Discovery Communications Inc., home to the Discovery and Animal Planet channels, will spend $14.6 billion to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., the company said Monday.

In the deal, Discovery will pay $11.9 billion at $90 per Scripps share and will assume long-term debt of $2.7 billion to create a cable television giant.

"Combined, Discovery and Scripps will have nearly 20 percent share of ad-supported pay-TV audiences in the U.S.," Discovery said in a statement. "Additionally, the combined company will be home to five of the top pay-TV networks for women and will account for over 20 percent share of women watching prime time pay-TV in the U.S."

The price reflects a 34 percent premium over Scripps' closing price of $67.02 on July 18, the day before news of the companies' negotiations were revealed, Bloomberg reported.

Though Scripps is smaller, it has HGTV, which was the fourth-most watched U.S. network in prime time in 2017. Viacom abandoned its own efforts to acquire Scripps after Discovery made an offer.

"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," Scripps Chairman, President and CEO Kenneth W. Lowe said in a statement.

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