Discovery Communications Inc. said Monday it has reached agreement to buy Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $14.6 billion, including $2.7 billion of debt. Discovery will pay $90 a share, or 34% over Scripps' unaffected share price as of July 18. The deal is expected to close by early 2018. The combined company will produce about 8,000 hours of original programming annually and be home to about 300,00 hours of library content. It will have almost 20% share of ad-supported pay-TV audiences in the U.S. Discovery is the owner of Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, among others, while Scripps is owner of HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel among others. The deal is expected to generate about $350 million in synergies. Scripps shares rose 1.2% premarket, while Discovery was not yet trading. Scripps shares have gained 22% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 10%.
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