Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive have ended talks about a merger, squashing the possibility that the two cable-television network operators might join forces, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The discussions had all been in the early stages, the story notes. Discovery hadn’t made a formal offer for the owner of HGTV, Travel Channel and Cooking Channel. Discovery, which owns networks such as TLC, has a market value of about $30 billion, more than twice Scripps’ $12 billion market value.
“It wasn’t clear why the talks ended, but the people familiar with the matter said the family that controls Scripps didn’t appear ready to sell,” WSJ notes.
Instead, Discovery will focus once again on expanding overseas, and is currently in discussions to increase its stake in the Eurosport network, the story adds. Discovery currently has a 20% stake.
“The talks were at least the second time that Discovery tried to negotiate a Scripps purchase. Scripps has long been seen as a takeover target for various media companies. Discovery approached the company about three years ago, but the family wasn’t willing to sell then,” the piece reports. “Speculation that a deal was possible increased over the past year, after the end of the family trust that tightly controlled Scripps.”