NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scripps Networks is close to an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the Travel Channel from Cox Communications, the nation’s third-largest cable company, the New York Times’ DealBook blog reported on Wednesday.
A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday and values Travel Channel at about $1 billion, according to the website, which cited people briefed on the talks. Officials from the companies could not be reached immediately for comment.
Closely held Cox will retain a 35 percent stake in the company, which will be spun off into a joint venture with Scripps, which owns cable networks Food Network, DIY Network and HGTV.
Cox previously said it was exploring joint ventures for Travel Channel, which it acquired from Discovery Communications two years ago. In June Cox said it had received unsolicited inquiries about the channel unit and hired Goldman Sachs to evaluate its options.
At the time, analysts said the channel’s value was between $600 million and $700 million.
Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing Bernard Orr