Scripps Networks Interactive said it agreed to acquire a majority stake in TVN, a multi-platform media company in Poland.
Scripps Networks, which owns lifestyle networks including HGTV and Food Network, has been the subject of takeover talk in a mature and consolidating U.S. cable TV industry. Programmers, including Viacom, AMC Networks and Discovery Communications, have been expanding internationally, where growth is faster.
The 52.7% stake in TVN was owned by ITI and Canal+ Group. Scripps is paying $614 million in cash. It is also assuming $883.6 million in debt. Scripps plans to increase its ownership in TVN once its agreement receives regulatory approval.
TVN owns both free over-the-air and pay-TV lifestyle and entertainment channels. It also owns Poland’s leading 24-hour news channel, and a business news channel. Its TVN Media unit is the country’s top ad sales company. Selling for both TVN’s channels and for a number of other commercial broadcasters, TVN Media has a 33% share of the market.
“This transaction is an important milestone in the ongoing strategic development of our international business, and provides us with substantial further scale in Europe,” Ken Lowe, CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, said in a statement.
“Poland is a vibrant media market with significant growth potential. TVN has an incredible portfolio of channels and services, and has delivered consistently strong creative and financial performance under the leadership of Markus Tellenbach,” said Lowe. “The business will be a strong addition to Scripps Networks Interactive, and we’re looking forward to working with the whole TVN team to achieve our significant ambitions in the region together.”
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