Scripps Networks Completes TVN Buy

U.S. Programmer Buys 52.7% Of Polish Media Firm
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Scripps Networks Interactive said it closed on its agreement to buy a 52.7% stake in Poland-based media company TVN, from ITI and Canal+ Group for an all-cash consideration of €584 million ($645 million). SNI also assumes €856 million ($950 million) of debt, the company said.

“The acquisition of TVN marks an important step forward in Scripps Networks Interactive’s international expansion strategy, and gives us a leadership position in one of the most important media markets in Central Europe,” Kenneth W. Lowe, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Scripps Networks Interactive said in a release. “TVN is a strong and profitable company run by a great management team under Markus Tellenbach, and we believe our ownership can help ensure that the business continues to grow for the long-term.”

Under Polish law, Scripps Networks Interactive is required to launch a public tender offer to increase its ownership interest in TVN to 66% within three months of closing on the initial purchase, SNI said. Scripps Networks Interactive has previously announced its intention to acquire 100% of TVN and delist it from the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the company said in the release. No price for the offer has yet been set.

Three Scripps Networks Interactive senior executives have been appointed to the TVN supervisory board. Joe NeCastro, chief development officer; Jim Samples, president, Scripps Networks International; and Cynthia Gibson, chief legal officer, will all sit on the supervisory board, which oversees the activities of TVN’s operational management board, Scripps said.

TVN owns free-to-air and pay-TV lifestyle and entertainment channels including TVN, TVN 7, TVN Style, TTV, TVN Turbo as well as Poland’s leading 24-hour news channel, TVN24, and business news channel TVN24 Biznes i Swiat, SNI said in the release. TVN had a market-leading 22% share of Polish viewing in 2014, SNI said. 

SNI in 2011 completed a joint-venture partnership with BBC Worldwide in the United Kingdom for the UKTV portfolio of 10 entertainment and lifestyle channels, it said. Scripps Networks’ international division distributes seven lifestyle brands including HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Fine Living and Asian Food Channel, reaching more than 200 million cumulative subscribers in nearly 180 countries and territories across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

SNI financial advisers for the transaction were Barclays and Blackstone Advisory Partners L.P., while legal advice was provided by Latham & Watkins LLP and Domański Zakrzewski Palinka sp.k.

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