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Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive shareholders have approved the $14.6 billion deal that will see Discovery acquire its peer known for nonscripted and lifestyle content.
Discovery at the end of July unveiled the agreement to acquire Scripps in the cash-and-stock deal, which the companies said would create “a global leader in real life entertainment” and “accelerate growth across linear, digital and short-form platforms around the world.” They have targeted $350 million in cost savings.
Scripps operates HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network, among others, while Discovery’s networks include the likes of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and OWN. Scripps shareholders will end up owning 20 percent of Discovery, which will take on Scripps’ net debt of approximately $2.7 billion in the deal.
The merger is expected to close by early 2018.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav has said the acquisition will make Discovery-Scripps the largest global owner of IP, ahead of Walt Disney. Scripps does not have the global reach of Discovery yet, so Discovery wants to emulate the success of its TLC and ID rollouts around the world and build Scripps’ HGTV and Food Network into global brands.
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