Discovery Expands Middle Eastern Presence

Deal To Buy Takhayal Adds Free-To-Air Fatafeat To Portfolio
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As part of a push to expand its presence in the Middle East and to increase the reach of its female-targeted channels, Discovery Communications has inked a deal to acquire Dubai-based media company Takhayal Entertainment and its affiliated companies in Dubai and Egypt.

Takhayal owns the TV network, Fatafeat, a popular Middle Eastern foot network.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies are in the final stages of getting regulatory approval and expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The acquisition continues Discovery’s efforts to expand its portfolio of female-targeted lifestyle brands, which already include TLC and Real Time channels that are available in more than 150 countries outside the U.S.

Fatafeat broadcasts to approximately 55 million TV households in the Middle East and North Africa. It has an in-house studio that has created a library of 700 hours of programs and it is producing an additional 150-200

Takhayal Entertainment will be managed as part of Discovery’s Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) region led by Kasia Kieli, the division’s president and managing director.

Allen and Overy LLP were legal advisers to Discovery on the acquisition.