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Discovery to acquire Middle East broadcaster Takhayal

Discovery Communications is to acquire Dubai-based media company Takhayal Entertainment and its affiliated companies in Dubai and Egypt, including flagship food channel Fatafea.

In a statement, Discovery said it was in the final stages of formalising the deal.

Fatafeat broadcasts to approximately 55 million TV households in the Middle East and north Africa and its in-house studio includes a library of 700 hours of programmes, including family cooking show Teslam El Ayadi and Arabian cuisine series Matbakhna El Arabi.

Discovery said the transaction would enable it to extend its presence in the Middle East and north Africa TV market, and to strengthen its existing portfolio of female-skewed lifestyle pay TV brands, which include TLC and Real Time. The acquisition will also offer access to a library of cooking recipes and shows and Takhayal’s production facility.

Mark Hollinger, CEO of Discovery Networks International said, “Discovery’s guiding principle has always been to customise our strategy on a region-by-region and market-by-market basis to build the strongest global nonfiction media company bar none. The acquisition of Takhayal, the premier company for cuisine and culinary programming in the Middle East, significantly strengthens our portfolio in this important region and adds content in a genre that has proven popular with our viewers around the globe, including on Real Time in Italy and the UK and on TLC in Poland, Latin America and India. Takhayal’s executives, such as Youssef El-Deeb are exceptionally smart and creative and we look forward to working with them to leverage Takhayal’s strong position in the Arab-speaking world and take Discovery’s female-targeted lifestyle content even deeper into the marketplace.”