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Discovery, Scripps Shares Rise Following Report on Merger Talks

Variety logo Variety 7/18/2017 Daniel Holloway
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Shares of Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive rose in after-hours trading Tuesday following a Wall Street Journal report claiming that the two companies are in talks on a possible merger.

Scripps stock was up 12.5% a little more than three hours after trading closed Tuesday. Discovery stock was up 8.7%.

Citing sources familiar with the negotiation, the Journal reported Tuesday that the two companies are engaged in merger talks — noting that Discovery is valued at roughly $15 billion according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, and Scripps at $8.8 billion.

The Journal also reported that another bidder for Scripps could emerge, as no deal with Discovery has been set.

Both Discovery and Scripps hold a number of cable channels specializing in nonfiction and reality programming. The two companies had previously explored a merger in 2014, but talks eventually fell apart. While Discovery is significantly invested in its international cable channels in addition to domestic operations, Scripps has remained focused on its U.S. channels.

Discovery’s U.S. portfolio includes Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Velocity, Science, American Heroes, Discovery Family and Destination America. Scripps owns HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Great American Country, and Travel Channel.

A representative for Scripps declined to comment.

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