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Scripps Networks Takes Full Control of Travel Channel

Scripps Networks Interactive said it has acquired the remaining 35% interest in Travel Channel Media from Cox Communications for $99 million in cash, which includes the value of certain tax benefits. The transaction gives full ownership of the cable network, in which it initially acquired a controlling interest in 2009.

“Full ownership of Travel Channel enables us to take maximum advantage of its continued growth as we build value for our shareholders,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, Scripps’ president, chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement.

Separately, Scripps Networks announced the sale of its 7.25% ownership stake in Fox-BRV Southern Sports Holdings to 21st Century Fox. The unit includes the Sports South and Fox Sports Net South regional television networks. Fox’s Fox Southern Holdings unit bought it for $225 million in cash.

The Fox-BRV Southern Sports Holdings transaction closed on February 24, while the Travel Channel transaction closed February 25.

Under the terms of Scripps’ original agreement with Cox, Scripps Networks Interactive contributed $181 million in cash to the partnership, and guaranteed $878 million in third-party debt. The purchase announced Thursday values Travel Channel at $1.1 billion, including debt and tax benefits.

Travel Channel was initially launched in 1987 and reaches about 89 million U.S. television households.

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