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Discovery to Take Cable Channels Public, Spin Off Ascent Media

Dec 13, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Holding Co. and Advance/Newhouse Programming Partnership have agreed to combine their stakes in Discovery Communications, creating a new publicly traded holding company that will own 100% of Discovery Communications.
Discovery Holding also said that it will spin off its Ascent Media Group unit to shareholders.
In return for its stakes in Discovery Communications and Animal Planet, Advance/Newhouse will receive preferred stock that will be convertible into shares representing one-third of the outstanding stock of the new holding company that will own Discovery Communications.
Advance/Newhouse owns one-third of Discovery. Earlier this year Cox Communications sold its one-third interest in Discovery Communications to Discovery Holdings in exchange for cash and the Travel Channel. TCI founder John Malone controls Discovery Holdings.
“Discovery Communications is one of the most valuable and well-positioned media companies in the world. Today’s transaction will unlock the full potential and value of Discovery, and provide a broader range of options to pursue their aggressive growth strategy in the future,” said Mr. Malone, chairman and CEO of Discovery Holding Co.
“As a fully public company, Discovery will be in a stronger position to grow organically and through acquisition,” commented David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications.
“We feel honored to have worked alongside John Malone and John Hendricks in creating such a widely respected company and are pleased to be continuing that relationship under this new structure,” said Robert Miron, chairman and CEO of Advance/Newhouse.
The transaction is expected to be tax-free to Advance/Newhouse and shareholders of Discovery Holdings. It is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008.

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