Scripps Networks Interactive and Virgin Media announced the agreement today. UKTV is one of Britain’s leading multichannel TV programming companies. Scripps Networks will pay about $390M to purchase Virgin Media’s 50% common equity interest in the UKTV partnership and also will pay about $163M to buy the outstanding preferred stock and debt owed by UKTV to Virgin Media. BBC Worldwide is the other 50% stakeholder in UKTV. Completion of the transaction is contingent on regulatory approvals in the Republic of Ireland and Jersey. UKTV is a significant opportunity for Scripps  to participate in a thriving multichannel dual-revenue stream media biz in one of the world’s largest television markets, according to Kenneth Lowe, Chairman/President/CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive. “Making a solid investment in UKTV and entering into a strong partnership with BBC Worldwide reinforces our core international strategy which we believe will create significant long-term value for our shareholders.” Related to the transaction, Scripps Networks Interactive and BBC Worldwide are negotiating an agreement whereby, after completion, BBC Worldwide would have the option, via a combination of cash and a package of digital rights for UKTV, to increase its shareholding from 50% to a maximum of 60%. Scripps’ existing voting rights and board representation would be unaffected by this proposed arrangement, which would be subject to BBC Executive and BBC Trust approvals.

Get Deadline news and alerts sent to your inbox.