Cox to sell Travel Channel: sources

Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:12pm EDT
 
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By Jui Chakravorty Das and Yinka Adegoke

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Travel Channel is up for sale in an auction expected to draw interest from media companies such as Scripps Networks Interactive Inc and Time Warner Inc and fetch $600 million to $1 billion, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Scripps Networks and Time Warner have expressed interest in looking at the sales prospectus, which will be sent out to possible buyers within the next week, both sources said. Goldman Sachs Group Inc is handling the sale.

The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the upcoming auction publicly.

Cox declined comment. The company said in June it was considering strategic options for the Travel Channel, including "maintaining the current business structure to joint ventures and other potential structures," but added it had made no decision. Scripps Networks, Time Warner and Goldman Sachs declined comment.

The Travel Channel is known for shows such as "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations," in which Bourdain travels around the world to showcase local cuisines; and "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern," in which Zimmern tries out unusual delicacies such as lamb eyeballs, squirrel brains and tiger pie from places such as Tanzania and Nicaragua.

WIDESPREAD INTEREST

Interest in the Travel Channel could be widespread among media companies, which have seen cable networks weather the recession better than other media businesses that have been deeply hurt by the pullback in advertising.

Cable networks are not entirely dependent on advertising   Continued...