Discovery acquires 51pc interest in Eurosport
Dubai, June 4, 2014
Discovery Communications has completed the acquisition of a controlling interest in Eurosport International, a leading sports entertainment group.
The company increased its interest in Eurosport to 51 per cent from 20 per cent as part of a larger strategic partnership with TF1 Group, said a statement.
With the addition of Eurosport’s six pay-TV brands, Eurosport, Eurosport HD, Eurosport 2, Eurosport 2 HD, Eurosport Asia-Pacific and Eurosportnews, Discovery Communications now operates more than 210 worldwide TV networks reaching 2.7 billion cumulative subscribers, it said.
David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said: “Today is an exciting day for Discovery Communications and our leadership as the number one pay-TV programmer in the world. Eurosport is a perfect strategic fit for growing market share, strengthening relationships with advertisers and affiliates, and bringing ‘must have’ content to passionate viewers across the globe.
“By combining Eurosport’s popular sports programming with Discovery’s global brands and local expertise, we will continue to capitalize on the international growth of pay-TV and create long-term value for our shareholders.”
Discovery intends to make long-term strategic decisions and targeted investments to strengthen and expand Eurosport’s sports programming and services to maximise Eurosport’s audience and reach, said the statement.
As part of that effort, Discovery will be working with Eurosport management and employees on a long-term business plan that fully optimises Eurosport’s channels as part of Discovery’s suite of global networks, it said.
The closing price for Eurosport International was based on an average enterprise valuation for the Eurosport Group of 902 million euros (approximately $1.2 billion), partly corresponding to the initial valuation and partly to a higher valuation linked to the control of the company, said the statement.
From this group valuation, the value of Eurosport France (85 million euros) has been deducted. TF1 expects to retain its 80 per cent interest in Eurosport France until at least January 1, 2015, it said.
The deal also does not impact the other two elements of the original deal – the 20 per cent interest Discovery acquired in TV Breizh, Histoire, Ushuaïa TV and Stylía channels, and a production alliance with TF1 Group. TF1 will retain the ability to exercise a put option over the remaining 49 per cent in Eurosport International, which would potentially increase Discovery’s ownership to 100 per cent, it added. - TradeArabia News Service