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Report: Discovery back in merger talks with Scripps

Discovery Communications is reportedly in merger talks with Scripps Networks Interactive.

According to a Reuters report, Scripps is looking for a buyer and has also held discussions with Viacom.

The Discovery negotiations come more than three years after Scripps was first linked to firm.

Variety reported in December 2013 that Discovery was considering making a bid for Scripps.

That same year Discovery bought SBS’s business in Scandinavia for US$1.7 billion (€1.25 billion) and paid €170 million to buy into TF1 channels Eurosport, Histoire, TV Breizh, Ushuaïa TV and Stylia

In January 2014, however, the Wall Street Journal reported that Discovery and Scripps had abandoned merger talks without getting beyond an “early, exploratory stage.”

US-based Scripps owns TV brands including HGTV, Food Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, as well as Poland’s TVN.

A deal with Discovery would bring these assets together with Discovery’s networks – which include Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, and OWN in the US – and a number of European brands, such as Eurosport.

Scripps’ share price was up more than 14% in after-hours trading, while Discovery’s was up more than 7%. Neither company has commented on the speculation.