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Global non-fiction content company Discovery Communications has inked a $1.7 billion pact with German media firm ProSiebenSat.1 Group to buy a dozen television channels owned by SBS Nordic operations of ProSiebenSat.1 Group.
The deal expands Discovery’s brand portfolio by adding general entertainment, scripted and sports programming to the company’s suite of services for the first time.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2013. Discovery has also announced that its board of directors has approved a $1 billion increase to its existing stock repurchase programme. “SBS Nordic has a fully distributed portfolio of dual revenue stream networks with a terrific management team that will expand Discovery’s footprint across the Nordic region,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.
Thomas Ebeling, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, said: “With Discovery Communications we have found a new strategic owner for our Northern European companies.” SBS has the No. 2 television portfolio in Norway with four networks and an overall viewership share of 34 per cent, the No. 3 television portfolio in Sweden with two networks and an overall viewership share of 22 per cent and the No. 3 television portfolio in Denmark with four networks and an overall viewership share of 19 per cent.
SBS Nordic’s operations also include two networks in Finland.
The acquisition includes SBS Nordic’s 19 radio stations, including the No. 1 radio portfolio in Sweden, as well as several digital brands.
Citigroup acted as financial advisor to Discovery Communications on this transaction, while DLA Piper served as legal advisors.
Meanwhile, Discovery also announced next stage of negotiations for strategic partnership with TF1/Eurosport.