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Scripps buys controlling share in Polish broadcaster

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The U.S. media company Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. has finalized an agreement for a controlling stake in Poland’s largest commercial broadcaster, a 584-million-euro ($650 million) deal that comes as the U.S. company expands into Europe.

Scripps Networks Interactive, which is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Thursday announced the completion of the deal for a 52.7-percent interest in TVN, a media company with a range of news, lifestyle and entertainment channels.

“The acquisition of TVN marks an important step forward in Scripps Networks Interactive’s international expansion strategy, and gives us a leadership position in one of the most important media markets in Central Europe,” the president and CEO of Scripps, Kenneth Lowe, said in a statement. “TVN is a strong and profitable company … and we believe our ownership can help ensure that the business continues to grow for the long-term.”

Scripps said that its acquisition from ITI and Canal+ Group also involves assuming 856 million euros ($950 million) of debt.

Scripps owns cable channels including HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.

It said that in 2011 it also completed a joint-venture partnership with BBC Worldwide in the U.K. for the UKTV portfolio of 10 entertainment and lifestyle channels. Its international division reaches more than 200 million subscribers in nearly 180 countries.

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