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Discovery starts early Eurosport buy-out talks with TF1

Discovery Communications has begun discussions with Eurosport owner TF1 about potentially taking a majority stake in the sports channel – ahead of their previously agreed timeframe of December 2014.

TF1 said that it will retain its 80% interest in the Eurosport France, the domestic arm of the European sports channel, until at least December 31, 2014.

However, in a joint statement the firms said that they are “beginning discussions to evaluate whether Discovery will exercise its call option prior to the agreed upon date.”

Last December, Discovery agreed to buy a 20% stake in Eurosport for approximately €170 million.

As part of this deal, Discovery has the option to raise its interest to 51% after two years – on or after December 21, 2014. If Discovery does this, TF1 can also exercise a put option over the remaining 49%, which would potentially increase Discovery’s ownership to 100%.