Dec 5, 2017

Oprah sells some of OWN

Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty

Discovery Communications said that it has agreed to pay $70 million for an additional 24.5% stake in OWN, its cable channel joint venture with Oprah Winfrey. This gives Discovery a majority ownership north of 70%, with Winfrey's Harpo Inc. retaining the rest.

Why it matters: It's the first time Oprah has taken any cash out of OWN, which she and Discovery first announced back in 2006. As part of the transaction, she extended her exclusivity agreement with the network through 2025.

Financing note: Discovery cautions against calculating OWN's valuation via the size of its equity check, given certain liabilities.

Bottom line: "Discovery is increasing its stake in OWN as it looks to complete its acquisition of fellow cable programmer Scripps in early 2018, whose stable including Food Network and HGTV will be combined with Discovery's portfolio of female-focused networks, including TLC, ID and OWN. That gives Discovery five of the top pay-TV networks for women, representing 20% share of women watching primetime pay-TV in the U.S." — Nellie Andreeva, Deadline

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