Silver Spring, Md. – Discovery Communications (NASD: DISCA), the media
firm behind the Discovery Channel, TLC and other pay-TV networks, said on
Monday it will spend $500 million to repurchase more than 13.7 million shares
of preferred stock from Advance/Newhouse Programming Partnership.
which was expected to close on Monday, represents less than 10% of
Advance/Newhouse’s stake in the company, and is separate from Discovery’s $1
billion stock buyback program.
Advance/Newhouse will remain Discovery’s largest
shareholder, with a 31% stake.
"This transaction… reflects the company’s
commitment to effectively using our capital and our confidence in the long-term
growth prospects for Discovery Communications," said David Zaslav, the
president and CEO of Discovery.
Donald Newhouse, the president of Advance
Publications, said his company has no plans to reduce its ownership any
"Our goal is to take a small percentage of our investment in
Discovery and diversify into new acquisitions and investments that will
hopefully turn out to be as meaningful," said Newhouse.