The company behind Shark Week just caught a whale: Discovery Communications has agreed to pay $11.9 billion in stock and cash and assume $2.7 billion in Scripps Networks Interactive debt for the programmer best known for HGTV, the Food Network, and the Travel Channel.

The $90 a share price represents a 34% premium over Scripps’ trading price on July 18, before word got out of the companies’ talks. Scripps is up 1.2% in pre-market trading today.

The key shareholders are on board. Discovery’s top owners, Liberty Media Chairman John Malone and the Advance/Newhouse Programming Partnership, agreed to vote in favor the the deal. So have members of the Scripps family who control Scripps Networks.

It also needs to be approved by antitrust regulators. The companies expect the deal to close in early 2018.


Scripps CEO Ken Lowe plans to join Discovery’s board when the deal closes.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav says the union with Scripps “will create a stronger, more flexible and more dynamic media company with a global content engine that can be fully optimized and monetized across our combined networks, products and services in every country around the world.”

He expects to save $350 million a year, mostly by cutting duplicative operations.

The companies say that together they will produce about 8,000 hours a year of original programming, and have a library of 300,000 hours.

They also intend to ramp up production of mobile-friendly short-form videos targeting 7 billion of them each month.


Full article : http://deadline.com/2017/07/discover...ve-1202139073/