(Adds details, background)
May 8 John Malone's Liberty Global Plc
and Discovery Communications Inc said they would
jointly buy UK-based All3Media, producer of hit TV shows such as
"Skins" and "Midsomer Murders", for about $300 million.
Discovery and Liberty Global said they would each contribute
about 90 million pounds in cash to buy the company from its
founders and funds owned by private equity firm Permira.
The companies said the enterprise value of the deal was $930
Permira failed to sell All3Media in 2011, when it had asked
for 600-770 million pounds. Permira has owned the company since
All3Media, which also produces popular shows such as
"Hollyoaks" and "The Only Way is Essex", had revenue of about
505 million pounds ($856 million) in the fiscal year ended
For Liberty Global, the deal marks a return to international
programming after it sold Chellomedia, its previous
international production house, to AMC Networks Inc for
$1.04 billion last October.
The move was part of the cable group's plans to focus on its
core market, United States.
Media reports said on Thursday that Discovery and Liberty
Global saw off a bid to buy All3Media from Fremantle, the
producer of "The X Factor" and "Britain's Got Talent."
Discovery, which owns channels such as Animal Planet and the
Oprah Winfrey Network, dropped its bid last month to buy
Britain's free-to-air Channel 5.
Viacom Inc said last week it would buy Channel 5,
the broadcaster of reality show "Big Brother" and the crime
drama CSI franchise for $760 million (450 million pounds).
J.P. Morgan was the financial adviser to Discovery
Communications and Liberty Global. The deal is expected to close
in the third quarter.
All3Media will continue to operate as an independent entity,
the companies said.
($1 = 0.5899 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Savio
D'Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)