Discovery to acquire Scripps for $14.6B

Discovery to acquire Scripps for $90 per share in cash and stock deal

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Discovery Communications (DISCA) and Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Discovery to acquire Scripps in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $14.6B, or $90 per share, based on Discovery’s Friday, July 21 closing price.

The purchase price represents a premium of 34% to Scripps’ unaffected share price as of Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

The transaction is expected to close by early 2018.

Combined, Discovery and Scripps will have nearly 20% share of ad-supported pay-TV audiences in the U.S. Additionally, the combined company will be home to five of the top pay-TV networks for women and will account for over 20% share of women watching primetime pay-TV in the U.S.

The combination is expected to create significant cost synergies, estimated at approximately $350M. The deal is expected to be accretive to adjusted EPS and to Free Cash Flow in the first year after close.

Scripps shareholders will receive $90 per share under the terms of the agreement, comprised of $63.00 per share in cash and $27.00 per share in Class C Common shares of Discovery stock, based on Discovery’s Friday, July 21 closing price. The stock portion will be subject to a collar based on the volume weighted average price of Discovery Class C Common Shares over the 15 trading days ending on the third trading day prior to closing.

Scripps shareholders will receive 1.2096 Discovery Class C Common shares if the Average Discovery Price is below $22.32, and 0.9408 Discovery Class C Common shares if the Average Discovery Price is above $28.70. If the Average Discovery Price is greater than or equal to $22.32 but less than or equal to $28.70, Scripps shareholders will receive a number of shares between 1.2096 and 0.9408 equal to $27.00 in value.

If the Average Discovery Price is between $22.32 and $25.51, Discovery has the option to pay additional cash instead of issuing more shares.

Scripps shareholders will have the option to elect to receive their consideration in cash, stock or the mixture described above, subject to pro rata cut backs to the extent cash or stock is oversubscribed. This purchase price implies a total transaction value of $14.6 billion, including the assumption of Scripps’ net debt of approximately $2.7 billion.

Post-closing, Scripps’ shareholders will own approximately 20% of Discovery’s fully diluted common shares and Discovery’s shareholders will own approximately 80%. Kenneth Lowe, Chairman, President & CEO, Scripps Networks is expected to join Discovery’s board following the close of the transaction.

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The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

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