Television

Scripps buys majority stake in Polish TV operator for €584 million

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MUMBAI: Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc, a developer of lifestyle content for television, Internet and mobile platforms, has entered into an agreement to acquire a 52.7 per cent interest in Poland’s premier multi-platform media company, TVN.

The company has agreed to acquire the stake from ITI and Canal+ Group for an all-cash consideration of €584 million. Scripps Networks Interactive will also assume €840 million of debt. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals. Following completion, Scripps Networks Interactive will launch a mandatory public tender offer to further increase its ownership interest in TVN, as required under Polish law.

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 enabled TVN to secure a market-leading 22 per cent share of Polish viewing in 2014. TVN Media is Poland’s leading advertising sales house, last year securing a 33 per cent 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.

“This transaction is an important milestone in the ongoing strategic development of our international business, and provides us with substantial further scale in Europe,” said Scripps Networks Interactive chairman, president and CEO Kenneth W. Lowe.

“Poland is a vibrant media market with significant growth potential. TVN has an incredible portfolio of channels and services, and has delivered consistently strong creative and financial performance under the leadership of Markus Tellenbach. The business will be a strong addition to Scripps Networks Interactive, and we’re looking forward to working with the whole TVN team to achieve our significant ambitions in the region together,” said Lowe.

“This is a credit to the hard work and commitment of every single employee of TVN in building one of the most successful media companies in Poland. Ken Lowe and the team at Scripps Networks Interactive understand the importance of the Polish market, and the value of developing compelling content that connects with consumers. We are delighted to be joining the Scripps Networks Interactive family, and we’re excited about developing and strengthening our business for many years to come,” added TVN S.A. president and CEO Markus Tellenbach.

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. Scripps Networks International distributes seven lifestyle brands including HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Fine Living and Asian Food Channel, reaching more than 220 million cumulative subscribers in nearly 180 countries and territories across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Scripps Networks Interactive’s financial advisors for the transaction were Barclays and Blackstone Advisory Partners L.P., while legal advice was provided by Latham & Watkins LLP and Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka sp.k.

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