Discovery CommunicationsDiscovery Holding Co. and a part of private media giant Advance/Newhouse have agreed to combine their stakes of Discovery Communications television into a single, publicly traded business, the companies announced.

The new entity, Discovery Communications, is now the “largest nonfiction media company”.

The 100-plus television brands of Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications include the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and the Science Channel, which collectively attract 1.5 billion subscibers through cable networks in 170 countries.

The official press release states that the transaction, if completed, will involve the following steps:

— DHC will spin-off to its shareholders a wholly-owned subsidiary holding the networks and creative services businesses of Ascent Media Group (“AMG”).

— Immediately following the spin-off of AMG, DHC will combine with a new holding company and existing DHC stockholders will receive shares of common stock of the new publicly-traded holding company.

— As part of the same plan, Advance/Newhouse will combine its interests in Discovery Communications and Animal Planet with the new holding company in exchange for preferred stock that, immediately after the closing of the transactions, will be convertible into shares representing one-third of the outstanding shares of common stock of the new holding company. The preferred stock held by Advance/Newhouse will entitle it to elect two members of the new holding company’s board of directors and to exercise approval rights with respect to the taking of specified actions by the new holding company and Discovery Communications.

Source: ENGLEWOOD, Colo., and NEW YORK /PRNewswire-FirstCall/

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