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Scripps Buys Controlling Stake in Poland’s TVN for $615 Million

LONDON — U.S. media group Scripps Networks Interactive is to acquire a controlling stake in Poland’s leading TV network, TVN, which had a market-leading 22% share of Polish viewing last year.

Scripps, which owns the Travel Channel, the Food Network and other channels, has agreed to buy a 52.7% stake in TVN from ITI and Canal Plus Group for €584 million ($615 million). Scripps will also take on €840 million ($885 million) of debt. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals. Once the deal is completed, Scripps will launch a public tender offer to up its stake in TVN.

TVN is one of the leading media companies in Poland, with a portfolio of free-to-air and pay TV lifestyle and entertainment channels, including TVN, TVN 7, TVN Style, TTV and TVN Turbo, as well as Poland’s leading 24 hour news channel, TVN24, and business news channel TVN24 Biznes i Swiat.

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

Scripps distributes seven lifestyle brands reaching more than 220 million subscribers in nearly 180 countries and territories across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

“This transaction is an important milestone in the ongoing strategic development of our international business, and provides us with substantial further scale in Europe,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, Scripps’ chairman, president and CEO.

“Poland is a vibrant media market with significant growth potential. TVN has an incredible portfolio of channels and services, and has delivered consistently strong creative and financial performance under the leadership of Markus Tellenbach,” said Lowe. “The business will be a strong addition to Scripps Networks Interactive, and we’re looking forward to working with the whole TVN team to achieve our significant ambitions in the region together.”

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