July 22, 2015 / 5:05 PM / 3 years ago

Discovery takes full ownership of Eurosport from TF1 Group

Visitors are seen at the Eurosport television sports network stand during the Sportel in Monte Carlo October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

(Reuters) - Discovery Communications Inc (DISCA.O) said on Wednesday it would take full ownership of sports broadcaster Eurosport for 491 million euros ($534 million) from French media group TF1 Group.

Discovery, the operator of channels such as Animal Planet and TLC, last year increased its stake in Eurosport to 51 percent from the 20 percent stake it took in 2012.

Silver Spring, Maryland-based Discovery was one of the first American media companies to launch TV channels in Europe in 1989 and has been investing steadily in the continent.

Discovery last month agreed to pay 1.3 billion euros to screen the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024 across Europe through Eurosport, beating out national public broadcasters that have traditionally shown the event.

Since May 2014, Discovery and Eurosport have broadcast events such as UEFA Champions League soccer, the Europa League and Major League Soccer.

The latest deal also includes a provision for TF1 to buy back Discovery’s 20 percent interest in TV Breizh, Histoire, and Ushuaïa TV for 15 million euros.

The deal is expected to close at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Rothschild Inc is Discovery’s financial adviser.

Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Savio D'Souza

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