Discovery Communications completes Scripps acquisition

MUMBAI: Discovery Communications has completed the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive and the combined company will be officially known as Discovery, Inc.

“The name change to Discovery, Inc. demonstrates a new focus on growth in the areas at which Discovery excels, telling stories across deeply loved genres and empowering super fans to explore their world wherever and whenever they choose,” the company’s official release stated.

Kenneth W. Lowe, former chairman president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, will join Discovery’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said, “As a new global leader in real life entertainment, Discovery will serve loyal and passionate audiences around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains across every screen; deliver new ways for advertisers and distributors to reach highly targeted audiences at scale; and leverage our leadership position to create new value and growth opportunities for all of our stakeholders.”

The acquisition is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings per share and to free cash flow in the first year after closing, including significant cost synergies. The combination is expected to create a strong economic model with capacity for rapid debt repayment and a clear runway for growth and value creation.

 Scripps shareholders will receive approximately $90 per share, consisting of US$65.82 per share in cash and 1.0584 per share in Series C Common shares of Discovery stock valued based on a volume weighted average price (subject to elections and proration), in each case in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement.  This includes a cash payment of US$2.82 per share in connection with Discovery’s previously announced decision to exercise in full the cash top-up option under the merger agreement.

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