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C21May iPad

Discovery confirms $1.7bn Nordic deal

Discovery Communications has concluded a deal worth €1.325bn (US$1.7bn) to buy 12 SBS Nordic channels belonging to ProSiebenSat.1 Group.

David Zaslav

David Zaslav

C21 reported earlier this week that a deal for the channels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland was close and Discovery has confirmed the acquisition today.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in early 2013. It caps a busy week for Discovery, which yesterday announced it was close to sealing a US$222m deal with France’s TF1 Group that could see it take control of Eurosport as well as taking a stake in several other French channels.

ProSiebenSat.1 said the move would enable it to increase its focus on the German-speaking markets. Its Northern Europe-based production subsidiary Red Arrow Entertainment was not included in the sale.

The move follows ProSiebenSat.1’s sale of its SBS channels in the Netherlands and Belgium for €1.23bn in August last year to Finnish firm Sanoma and Dutch prodco Talpa Media and is part of a strategy to repay debt accrued when it paid €3.3bn for the SBS Broadcasting Group in 2007.

NATPE 2013

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said: “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, which includes some of the most well-penetrated and stable TV markets in the world.”

Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, said: “The acquisition of SBS Nordic is a continuation of Discovery’s more than 20-year strategy of investing internationally to build the most extensive global footprint in media, which now includes 153 networks in 217 countries and territories.”

Thomas Ebeling, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1, thanked SBS Nordic CEO Henrik Ravn and his staff for their efforts in a statement today.


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