Discovery Communications Inc. has raised $700 million in a private debt
placement to help pay down bank loans and for general corporate purposes.
DCI has about $2 billion in bank debt. The private-placement deal was issued
last Friday in three tranches -- a $300 million five-year note, a $180 million
seven-year note and a $220 million 10-year note.
Merrill Lynch & Co. served as the agent for the transaction.
This is the first time DCI has gone to the private-placement debt markets.
DCI and Merrill had first expected to issue about $350 million through the
offering, but they doubled that figure due to high demand.
'The size and enthusiasm for this transaction during the current economic
uncertainty underscores the confidence the private-placement market has in
Discovery's growth strategy,' DCI president Judith McHale said in a prepared
In a separate announcement, DCI said Mike Quattrone, general manager of
Discovery Channel, has resigned effective at the end of the month. He will be
replaced by Clark Bunting, executive vice president and general manager of
Animal Planet. Bunting, who joined DCI in 1985, will assume his new duties April
Quattrone has been general manager of Discovery since 1996, and he was
responsible for creating its successful 'Expedition Adventure' initiative, which
produced Emmy Award-winning documentaries Raising the Mammoth and
Walking with Dinosaurs.
Prior to taking the reins at Animal Planet in 1996, Bunting had been senior
vice president of programming at Discovery Networks U.S. He has also served as
senior vice president and executive in charge of production at the Discovery
'Given his success with Animal Planet and his tremendous knowledge of and
previous role in the development of Discovery Channel's programming, we have
great confidence in Clark's ability to build on Discovery Channel's solid
foundation and to lead the network to an even more successful future,' Discovery
Networks U.S. president Johnathan Rodgers said in a prepared
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