Broadcaster Al Jazeera acquires US cable channel Current TV

Al Jazeera Park in Qatar

Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera Satellite Channel Corp said it had agreed to acquire US cable channel Current TV LLC in a move to expand its presence in the US.

Financial terms were not revealed, but according to analysts’ estimates the deal could fetch as much as USD500m (EUR381.5m).

The target was co-founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Back in October 2012 it confirmed that it had hired JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) and The Raine Group LLC to review options for a possible sale after it had been struggling with low viewership.

One of its distributors, Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC), with some 12m subscribers, said late Wednesday that it was terminating its carriage deal with Current. Reuters could not reach or extract a comment from other distributors, including Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and Dish Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH).

Al Jazeera also unveiled plans to launch a new US-based news channel, following the acquisition, which would be distributed in more than 40m households.

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