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Scripps Networks Interactive has closed on its agreement to acquire a 52.7 per cent interest in Poland’s premier multi-platform media company, TVN, from ITI and Canal+ Group for an all-cash consideration of €584 million. Scripps Networks Interactive will also assume €856 million of debt.
“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,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, president, chairman and chief executive officer, Scripps Networks Interactive. “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.”
Tellenbach, said that closing of the agreement by Scripps Networks Interactive was a key step to further development of TVN in Poland and in the region. “With strategic support of the new owner we are now in an ideal position to strengthen our premium programming portfolio as well as to expand the scope of national and international content exploitation across multiple digital media platforms. We are looking forward to mutually benefit from the cooperation with our new majority shareholder,” he declared.
Under Polish law, Scripps Networks Interactive is required to launch a public tender offer to increase its ownership interest in TVN to 66 per cent within three months of closing on the initial purchase. Scripps Networks Interactive has previously announced its intention to acquire 100 percent of TVN and delist it from the Warsaw Stock Exchange. 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.
TVN is one of the leading media companies in Poland, with a portfolio of 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. The channels have enabled TVN to attract a market-leading 22 percent share of Polish viewing in 2014. TVN Media is Poland’s leading advertising sales house, last year securing a 33 percent share of the market in advertising revenue for TVN’s own portfolio of channels, as well as selling advertising for a number of other commercial broadcasters in Poland.
The acquisition is the latest move in Scripps Networks Interactive’s expansion into Europe. In 2011, the company completed a joint-venture partnership with BBC Worldwide in the United Kingdom for the UKTV portfolio of 10 entertainment and lifestyle channels. In addition, 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.