August 21, 2017

Discovery buys Scripps Networks for $14.6bn

02 August 2017, 06:49 | Anita Wise

Discovery Communications has bought Scripps Networks Interactive. owner of HGTV and the Food Network. Andrew Harrer Bloomberg

Discovery Communications has bought Scripps Networks Interactive. owner of HGTV and the Food Network. Andrew Harrer  Bloomberg

Discovery's content is available in more than 200 countries and includes brands such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Science, OWN and Eurosport. Given their wide viewership, both Scripps and Discovery networks are relatively low-priced for distributors to include in their channel lineups, he said. Once combined, the merged company would control of the most popular cable networks with women, accounting for 20% of what all US women watch in primetime. This purchase price implies a total transaction value of $14.6 billion, including the assumption of Scripps' net debt of approximately $2.7 billion.

Analysts' mean recommendation for Discovery Communications, Inc. Its pay-TV channel portfolio of has suffered a declining share of viewers.

Discovery Communications, Inc. (DISCA) has the market capitalization of $9.88 Billion. Moffett Nathanson reiterated a "sell" rating on shares of Discovery Communications in a report on Friday, June 9th.

Scripps reported second-quarter earnings from operations before income taxes of $400.8 million, up 20.8 percent, but operating earnings only rose 0.3 percent to $374.1 million.

The deal called for Scripps shareholders to receive $90 a share, or about $11.9 billion, a 34 percent premium above where Scripps stock was valued when the talks were first reported almost two weeks ago.

"While we believe the two companies are likely better positioned together, rather than apart, the longer-term issues facing the industry still remain", said John Janedis, an analyst at Jefferies LLC.

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First National Bank of Omaha held its position in Discovery Communications, Inc.

"We think we can take that content to our female platforms around the world", Zaslav said.

The acquisition could also lead to further consolidation among on other players in the market, including Viacom which had also been in talks to acquire Scripps. Together, the merged companies will operate almost 20% of cable viewership in the U.S.

U.S television networks and cable providers are under pressure as more viewers watch their favorite shows and movies on phones and tablets. After posting $0.41 EPS for the previous quarter, Discovery Communications Inc.'s analysts now forecast 68.29 % EPS growth. Its sales stood at 10.40% a year on average in the period of last five years.

The combined 2017 monthly affiliate revenue fees could grow to about $3.10 per subscriber, when Discovery and Scripps affiliate revenues are added, according to data from financial data firm S&P Global. The transaction, which is expected to close by early 2018, is subject to approval by Discovery and Scripps' shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

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