Scripps Networks, Cox complete Travel Channel deal

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2009 5:26 PM

Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. and Cox Communications Inc. said Tuesday they have completed a deal that gives Scripps a controlling stake in the Travel Channel.

Scripps gained a 65 percent stake in Cox's Travel Channel, which reaches about 95 million U.S. households. Cox kept the remaining 35 percent.

When the agreement was announced in November, Scripps Networks, which owns and operates the Food Network, agreed to pay $181 million in cash for the stake in the Travel Channel, which has been valued at $975 million.

"Travel Channel gives us a third major lifestyle franchise that is fully-distributed and nationally recognized, with potential revenue upside through increasing ad sales and affiliate fees as well as international opportunities," said Kenneth W. Lowe, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, in a statement.

The partnership is expected to take on $878 million of debt guaranteed by Scripps and further guaranteed by Cox, with the proceeds to be distributed to Cox. Scripps said at the time that the partnership would end up with about $696 million of net debt.

The deal is expected to close by January.