Viacom is willing to make an all-cash offer to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive, according to a report by Reuters.
However, such a move could see the company, which had debts of $12.17 billion as of the end of the first quarter, lose its investment-grade status, having already been downgraded to the lowest level in 2016.
Although there has been no indication of the size of the bid, a decision on whether it is accepted could be made in a soon as the next few days.
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, Discovery Communications is also looking to buy Scripps Networks Interactive, whose assets include HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, as well as the Polish national commercial broadcaster TVN.
Reuters notes that Viacom has recently been selling assets, including its stake in the premium channel Epix to MGM Holdings, in order to reduce its debt.
Were it to acquire Scripps, Viacom could gain cost savings and scale.
Discovery is not expected to make an all-cash bid for Scripps.
Viacom is capitalised at $14.3 billion, just behind Discovery’s $15.2 billion, while Scripps is valued at $10.6 billion.
© 2017 Broadband TV News LLP.