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TheStreet Open House

Discovery Communications To Acquire SBS Nordic Operations Of ProSiebenSat.1 Group And Announces $1 Billion Increase To Share Repurchase Program

SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Communications today announced a definitive agreement with ProSiebenSat.1 Group to purchase the company's SBS Nordic operations for a total enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion (€1.325 billion). The acquisition of SBS Nordic includes 12 television networks in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, among other assets, and further solidifies Discovery's long-term growth in the strong Nordic TV markets. The deal also expands Discovery's brand portfolio by adding general entertainment, scripted and sports programming to the company's suite of services for the first time. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and is expected to close in early 2013.  Additionally, Discovery also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $1.0 billion increase to its existing stock repurchase program.

Discovery will host a media conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday, December 14, 2012.  To access the conference call in the U.S. dial 1-800-435-1261, or outside of the U.S. dial 1-617-614-4076, and use the following passcode: 98467764. Please dial in approximately 10 minutes in advance to ensure you are connected prior to the beginning of the call.  A live audio webcast of the call also will be available on Discovery Communications' website at www.discoverycommunications.com

"SBS Nordic has a fully distributed portfolio of dual revenue stream networks with a terrific management team that will expand Discovery's footprint across the Nordic region, which includes some of the most well-penetrated and stable TV markets in the world," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. "Individually, and taken together, the acquisition of SBS Nordic, our pending strategic partnership with TF1 through the acquisition of a minority stake in Eurosport, and the increase in our share repurchase program are all complementary to our long-term growth strategy of delivering sustained operating results, creating strong organic growth through investment in content, brands and talent, and returning capital to shareholders."

Thomas Ebeling, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, said: "With Discovery Communications we have found a great new strategic owner, and a truly global media leader, for our Northern European companies. I'm very happy with this result. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues in the North, and particularly our CEO in these territories, Henrik Ravn, for their outstanding performance in the past years. I wish them every success as part of the Discovery family."

SBS has the #2 television portfolio in Norway with four networks and an overall viewership share of 34%, the #3 television portfolio in Sweden with two networks and an overall viewership share of 22%, and the #3 television portfolio in Denmark with four networks and an overall viewership share of 19%. SBS Nordic's operations also include two networks in Finland. The acquisition includes SBS Nordic's 19 radio stations, including the #1 radio portfolio in Sweden, as well as several digital brands.

"The acquisition of SBS Nordic is a continuation of Discovery's more than 20-year strategy of investing internationally to build the most extensive global footprint in media, which now includes 153 networks in 217 countries and territories," said Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International. "We look forward to adding SBS Nordic's networks and genres to our portfolio, learning from their well-respected and experienced leadership team, and further solidifying the continued growth of our international business, which is led by our strong regional team."

Citigroup acted as financial advisor to Discovery Communications on this transaction. DLA Piper served as legal advisors. 

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