Discovery strikes deal for SBS Nordic

Discovery Communications is to buy pan-Scandinavia broadcaster SBS Nordic from ProSiebenSat1 Group for £1.07bn (€1.325 bn).

SBS Nordic comprises 12 television networks in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, plus other assets.

The deal expands Discovery’s brand portfolio by adding general entertainment, scripted and sports programming to the company’s suite of services for the first time. It emphasises the factual powerhouse’s strategy of diversification, which has also seen it agree a deal to buy a stake in Eurosport.

The SBS deal is subject to regulatory review and is expected to close in early 2013. 

Discovery has also announced that its directors have approved a $1 billion increase to its existing stock repurchase program.

Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said “Individually, and taken together, the acquisition of SBS Nordic, our pending strategic partnership with TF1 through the acquisition of a minority stake in Eurosport, and the increase in our share repurchase program are all complementary to our long-term growth strategy of delivering sustained operating results, creating strong organic growth through investment in content, brands and talent, and returning capital to shareholders.”

Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, added: “We look forward to adding SBS Nordic’s networks and genres to our portfolio, learning from their well-respected and experienced leadership team, and further solidifying the continued growth of our international business, which is led by our strong regional team.”

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