The Viacom media company has reportedly made a gigantic all-cash offer to purchase Scripps Network Interactive. This move comes as Viacom has been tussling for control of Scripps with rival media and entertainment company Discovery Communications.

Viacom makes huge offer and then backs out of it

Yesterday S&P Global Market Intelligence reported that Viacom had made a huge all-cash offer to purchase Scripps, which is valued at $10.6 billion dollars. According to the report, this was an offer so huge that there was no way rival Discovery Communications could match it. Viacom, of course, is the media company best known for being the home of channels like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, Spike, and MTV.

However, today Viacom decided to abruptly drop out of the running for Scripps. Such a daring move would have been too risky for the company since they currently have a significant debt load. Plus, it could have risked Viacom's investment grade, which credit rating service Moody's downgraded to its lowest level of investment grade in 2016.

Discovery now in lead to purchase Scripps

With Viacom dropping out of the chase, this leaves Discovery Communications as the most likely company to win the battle for Scripps, according to the Wall Street Journal. Negotiations between the two sides are now progressing farther along and a deal could be announced as early as next week. Reuters had reported the talks are centering around a mostly cash deal that would amount to $90 dollars per share, which would currently be about $11.7 billion, in Scripps stock.

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However, it is also being cautioned that there is the potential for an agreement on a deal to not be reached.

This is at least the third time that Discovery, owned by billionaire John Malone, has been in talks with Scripps about some kind of acquisition or combination between the two companies. Discovery's cable network includes well-known channels like Animal Planet, The Discovery Channel, and TLC.

What is Scripps Network Interactive?

Scripps Network Interactive is a media company that operates The Cooking Channel, HGTV, The Food Network and The Travel Channel among other networks. The company is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennesee and is controlled by the Scripps family, who controls the voting stock of Scripps. The Scripps family's media empire was founded back in 1878 when E.W. Scripps started the 'Penny Press' in Cleveland.