Discovery Closes SBS Acquisition

$1.7B Deal Creates SBS Discovery Media

Discovery Communications said Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition of SBS Nordic, the Scandinavian media operations of ProSiebenSat 1 Group, for about $1.7 billion.

Discovery first announced the deal in December. Discovery will combine SBS Nordic’s 12 television networks, radio stations and digital brands with its existing eight brands in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to create a regional business named SBS Discovery Media.

“The formation of SBS Discovery Media solidifies Discovery’s long-term growth in some of the most well-penetrated and stable TV markets in the world, while also expanding Discovery’s brand portfolio by adding scripted entertainment programming to the company’s suite of genres,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.  “This acquisition, along with the recent announcement of Discovery’s equity stake in Eurosport, is a continuation of a 25-year strategy of investing internationally to build the most extensive global footprint in media and extending our presence in key markets to support long-term growth and diversify the company’s offerings.”

In conjunction with the closing, Discovery named former SBS Nordic CEO Henrik Ravn as president and managing director of the newly combined SBS Discovery Media business.

Ravn joined SBS in November 2003 as CEO of the TV business in Denmark, and has served as CEO of SBS Nordic since 2009. His prior experience includes senior television marketing, programming and management roles with Viasat/MTG, TV2 in Denmark and Yousee. He was previously head of programming for TV 3 in Denmark, where he led the launch of Channel 3+, the first large niche network in the country.

Roundning out the SBS Discovery Media team will be Christian Kemp as CEO Denmark, Jonas Sjögren as CEO Sweden/Finland, Harald Strømme as CEO Norway, Hans van Rijn as Business Development Director, Eivind Landsverk as Programming & Content Director and Quinton Holland as CFO.

Jan Andreassen, the leader of Discovery’s Nordic business will serve as a key member of the integration team, working closely with Ravn and the rest of senior management to counsel on operational and strategic issues for the combined entity.  Darren Campbell from Discovery will serve as Vice President of Human Resources.