Liberty Global Plc, controlled by billionaire John Malone, and Discovery Communications Inc. agreed to acquire Permira Advisers LLP’s television producer All3Media in a deal valuing the company at 550 million pounds ($932 million).
Liberty Global and Discovery will each pay about 90 million pounds in cash. The transaction will be financed with equity and credit facilities raised at All3Media.
Discovery and Liberty will form a 50-50 joint venture to hold the company, which will maintain the All3Media name, Discovery and Liberty said in a joint statement yesterday. The deal extends Liberty’s European dominance in the cable and television industry.
Under the joint venture structure, Discovery and Liberty will not consolidate All3Media in their financial statements. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, pending regulatory approvals, the companies said.
“In view of the increased competition for great content and non-linear rights, All3Media represents a smart strategic investment for us over the long-term,” Mike Fries, Liberty Global chief executive officer, said.
Liberty Global acquired U.K.-based Virgin Media Inc. last year for about $16 billion. The company is in the process of acquiring Dutch cable operator Ziggo NV for 4.9 billion euros. Liberty Global also operates in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Ireland, as well as in eastern Europe.
Permira bought All3Media in 2006, after the television producer decided against an initial public offering.