Discovery Communications has agreed to buy Scripps Networks Interactive for USD 14.6 billion, creating a new leader in the cable channels market. The offer of USD 90 per share is a premium of 34 percent on Scripps' share price on 21 July, before the first reports of a deal emerged, according Telecompaper. The takeover is expected to close by early 2018. The combined portfolio will include Discovery's Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, as well as Scripps' HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and the Cooking Channel. In Europe, the companies also own Eurosport, Poland's TVN and UKTV.
The companies estimate they will have nearly 20 percent of ad-supported pay-TV audiences in the US as well as be home to five of the top pay-TV networks for women and a share of 20 percent of women watching primetime pay-TV in the US.
The deal is expected to help each group expand its content offering and geographic footprint. Total cost savings from the deal are estimated at USD 350 million per year. Scripps chairman Kenneth Lowe will join the Discovery board following the takeover.

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