Oprah Winfrey Sells Most of OWN Stake to Discovery for $36 Million
Oprah Winfrey smiles during an event in California. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Oprah Winfrey Sells Most of OWN Stake to Discovery for $36 Million

Oprah Winfrey sold most of her stake in the OWN cable channel to its majority owner, Discovery Inc., for more than $36 million in stock.

Winfrey’s company, Harpo Inc., filed to sell half of the 1.34 million shares received in the transaction, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Oprah Winfrey Sells Most of OWN Stake to Discovery for $36 Million

The deal boosts Discovery’s stake in OWN to 95%, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, an increase from more than 70% reported in 2017. The channel was co-founded by Discovery and the longtime talk show host in 2011 as a female-focused network, trading off of Winfrey’s huge popularity.

It got a off a rough start, however, and initially wrung up losses. Since then, it has focused more specifically on African-American women, including shows produced by comic actor and producer Tyler Perry.

The OWN content is expected to be part of a new streaming service, Discovery+, which is launching next month.

Winfrey had an agreement with Discovery where she could require the company to purchase part of her interest beginning in 2016. In 2017, Discovery purchased a 25% stake from Winfrey for $70 million. The latest deal suggests the value of the business has declined as smaller cable networks struggle to compete in a streaming world.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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