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Scripps buys majority stake in TVN

US media group Scripps Networks Interactive is to acquire a controlling stake in Polish commercial broadcaster TVN for €584m (US$615.3m).

Scripps, which owns Travel Channel and Food Network, will buy a 52.7% stake in Poland’s second largest private TV network from financial holding firm ITI Group and French media giant Vivendi.

Under the deal, Scripps will take on debt owned by TVN and a subsidiary of ITI and Vivendi worth a total of €840m.

TVN has free-to-air and pay TV assets, including a 24-hour news channel, and its broadcasting business captured around 22% of Polish viewing last year.

Vivendi’s Canal+ agreed to buy into TVN three years ago amid a wider deal that made Poland Vivendi’s second largest market after France.

“We’re looking forward to working with the whole TVN team to achieve our significant ambitions in the region together,” Scripps CEO Kenneth W Lowe said in a statement.

“This transaction allows us to refocus our strategy around pay TV in Poland,” added Bertrand Meheut, head of Canal+ Group.

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