Discovery abandons Scripps buyout
January 13, 2014
By Chris Forrester
Discovery Networks is reported to have ended negotiations to buy Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI). The reason given by the WSJ is that Scripps’ all-important family shareholding members were reluctant to sell, and that the timing was not right.
Discovery’s interest in Scripps was based on the fast-growing portfolio of US and international channels under the SNI banner, including HGTV, Travel Channel and a majority interest in Food Network. SNI has a market-cap of some $12 billion, while Discovery is about $30 billion.
The talks were said to be at an extremely early stage and no formal negotiations were entered into.
The ending of a formal Scripps family trust that restricted any possible sale was seen, by some, as a catalyst in opening up negotiations. The Trust still owns much of the company’s voting stock and a 43 per cent economic interest in SNI.