Discovery Communications has announced that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has closed its investigation into the company’s proposed acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive.
Commenting on the development, David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery, said: “We are pleased to have passed this significant regulatory milestone on our path to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive.
“The conclusion of the Department of Justice’s investigation is an integral step toward closing our transaction. We look forward to combining these two great companies to the benefit of our enthusiast audiences around the world.”
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, Discovery announced in July 2017 that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire Scripps Networks in a cash-and-stock transaction deal worth $14.6 billion.
The deal received approval from the European Commission earlier this month.
The closing of the proposed transaction now remains subject to completion of review in Ireland and other customary closing conditions. However, it is expected to close by the end of the first quarter this year.
Discovery notes that until legal close, the companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities.
The news comes alongside the release of Discovery’s latest set of results. These show that the company’s FY revenues in 2017 amounted to $6,873 million, or 6% more than in the previous year.
This was primarily due to 8% growth at International Networks and 5% at US Networks, partially offset by declines in Education and Other.
OIBDA grew by 5% to $2,531 million, again thanks to International and US Networks (+3% and 5% respectively), while the company’s net loss was reduced to -$337 million.
In his comments on the results, Zaslav said: “2017 was an historic year for Discovery. We took significant steps to position ourselves for success in a changing industry, while driving growth from our traditional linear business and accelerating our investments in new growth areas like digital and mobile in an effort to reach superfans on every screen.
“Solid global advertising and distribution revenue growth helped us achieve our 2017 strategic and financial objectives. Additionally, we remain excited by the prospects for a combined Discovery and Scripps Networks.”