Scripps clinches €584m TVN deal

Scripps Networks Interactive has closed its acquisition of a majority stake in Polish commercial broadcaster TVN from ITI and Canal+ Group.

Kenneth LoweScripps has acquired a 52.7% stake in the broadcaster for €584 million (US$647.3 million).

The US-based pay TV company has acquired the stake by taking 100% control of N-Vision, a company that, directly or indirectly, through Polish Television Holdings controls the majority stake in TVN.

Scripps has assumed Polish Television Holdings’ debt of €300 million and TVN’s debt of €556 million as part of the deal.

Under Polish law, Scripps Networks Interactive is required to launch a public tender offer to increase its ownership interest in TVN up to 66%, within three months of closing on the initial purchase. The company has said it intends to acquire 100% of the group and delist it from the Warsaw stock exchange, but no price for the offer has yet been set.

Three Scripps Networks Interactive senior executives have been appointed to the TVN supervisory board. Joe NeCastro, chief development officer; Jim Samples, president, Scripps Networks International; and Cynthia Gibson, chief legal officer, will all sit on the board, which oversees the activities of TVN’s operational management board.

“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 Scripps Networks Interactive president and CEO Kenneth Lowe (pictured above).

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

“Closing of this agreement by Scripps Networks Interactive is a key step to further development of TVN in Poland and in the region,” added TVN president and CEO Tellenbach.

“With strategic support of the new owner we are now in an ideal position to strengthen our premium programming portfolio as well as to expand the scope of national and international content exploitation across multiple digital media platforms. We are looking forward to mutually benefit from the cooperation with our new majority shareholder.”

Bruno Valsangiacomo, executive president and founding shareholder of ITI, said the deal had been very important for him to “ensure the continuity, quality and editorial independence of TVN” and that Scripps was “the ideal partner” to take the broadcaster to the next stage of its development.

Canal+ president Bertrand Meheut said that the deal would allow the operator to focus its Polish strategy around pay TV and said that Canal+ would continue to have a strong presence in the country.

He added that Canal+ was committed to the development of nc+, the pay TV platform in which TVN has a 32% stake.

“As majority shareholder in TVN, Scripps Networks Interactive will become a key partner and we are very happy to have them by our side,” he said.