Scripps Completes Travel Deal for $99M

Programmer Also Sells Stake in Fox Sports South
Josh Gates in Expedition Unknown on Travel Channel.jpeg

Scripps Networks Interactive, just two days after announcing it had notified Cox Communications of its intention to purchase the remaining 35% of The Travel Channel it didn’t already own,  said it has completed that transaction for $99 million in cash.

In a separate move, Scripps said it sold its 7.25% interest in Sports South and Fox Sports Net South to Fox Southern Holdings for $225 million in cash on Feb. 24.

The Travel Channel deal includes the value of certain tax benefits and gives SNI full ownership of the channel in which it originally purchased a controlling interest in 2009.

“Travel Channel is a key asset that presents a great growth opportunity for Scripps Networks Interactive, and one that delivers an increasingly significant contribution to our business. Full ownership of Travel Channel enables us to take maximum advantage of its continued growth as we build value for our shareholders,” SNI chairman and CEO Kenneth Lowe said in a statement. 

Scripps Networks Interactive initially secured a controlling interest in Travel Channel Media from Cox in 2009. Under the terms of that agreement, Scripps Networks Interactive contributed $181 million in cash to its partnership with Cox, and guaranteed $878 million in third-party debt. The agreement announced today effectively values Travel Channel at $1.1 billion including debt and tax benefits.

Launched in 1987, Travel Channel reaches about 89 million U.S. television households.