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Scripps completes TVN purchase

US media group Scripps Network Interactive (SNI) has completed its deal to take complete ownership of Polish broadcaster TVN for €584m (US$615.3m).

Samples: one of three SNI execs appointed to the TVN supervisory board

Samples: one of
three SNI execs
appointed to the
TVN supervisory
board

SNI, which owns Travel Channel and Food Network, has bought a 52.7% stake in Poland’s second largest private TV network from financial holding firm ITI Group and Canal+ Group, as previously agreed.

Under the deal, SNI will take on debt worth a total of €856m.

“The acquisition of TVN marks an important step forward in Scripps Networks Interactive’s international expansion strategy and gives us a leadership position in one of the most important media markets in Central Europe,” said Kenneth W Lowe, president, chairman and CEO of SNI.

“TVN is a strong and profitable company run by a great management team under Markus Tellenbach, and we believe our ownership can help ensure the business continues to grow for the long term.”

Under Polish law, SNI is required to initiate a mandatory public tender offer to increase its ownership interest in TVN to 66% within three months of completion of the purchase of the 52.7% stake.

The company additionally intends to offer to purchase the remaining public ownership in TVN, and delist it from the Warsaw Stock Exchange. No price for the offer has yet been set.

Meanwhile, three SNI senior execs have been appointed to the TVN supervisory board. Joe NeCastro, chief development officer; Jim Samples, president of SNI; and Cynthia Gibson, chief legal officer, will all sit on the panel, which oversees the activities of TVN’s operational management board.

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.

The acquisition is the latest move in SNI’s expansion into Europe. In 2011 the company completed a joint-venture partnership with BBC Worldwide in the UK for the UKTV portfolio of 10 entertainment and lifestyle channels.

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