Scripps Networks Interactive’s board of directors have today authorized a US$1 billion share repurchase program.
The move will see the company buy back 6.4 millions of its Class A common shares for approximately $300 million, or $46.66 per share, from its controlling shareholder, The Edward W. Scripps Trust. The remaining $700 million has been set aside for buying back Class A common shares sold on the open market or through private transactions.
Announcing the news, Scripps Networks Interactive board chairman and president/CEO Kenneth Lowe said: “The decision to repurchase shares from the Scripps Trust and initiate a meaningful share repurchase program demonstrates our faith in the financial strength of our lifestyle media businesses and the company’s ability to generate strong free cash flow.
“It also reflects our commitment to create value for shareholders; provides us with ample resources to meet operating requirements; and gives us the financial flexibility we need to invest in the company’s long-term growth,” he added.
The Edward W. Scripps Trust will remain the company’s single largest shareholder, holding approximately 26% of the company’s Class A common shares after today’s news, and approximately 93% of its common voting shares.
The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company has under its umbrella the cable networks HGTV, DIY, The Food Network, The Cooking Channel, The Travel Channel and Great American Country.