Discovery Expands Middle Eastern Reach, Gets Recipes With Purchase of Takhayal

Dubai-based company known for food programming also has holdings in Egypt

Discovery Communications is expanding its Middle Eastern reach by purchasing the Dubai-based media company Takhayal Entertainment and affiliated companies in Dubai and Egypt, including its flagship food network, Fatafeat.

Discovery will also get some cooking tips. It said in a news release that the deal will bring it a "vast library of cooking recipes and shows" as well as Takhayal's production facility.

No terms were disclosed. The parties are in final stages of formalizing the transfer, said Takhayal CEO Youssef El-Deeb and Mark Hollinger, CEO of Discovery Networks International. The move is meant to extend Discovery's portfolio of female-targeted channels, including TLC and Real Time, which are  available in more than 150 countries.

"The acquisition of Takhayal, the premier company for cuisine and culinary programming in the Middle East, significantly strengthens our portfolio in this important region and adds content in a genre that has proven popular with our viewers around the globe, including on Real Time in Italy and the UK and on TLC in Poland, Latin America and India," Hollinger said.

Launched in 2005, Takhayal Entertainment has offices in Dubai and Cairo and works with a distribution network in 14 countries around the region. Its slogan, "El Hayat Helwa," means "life is wonderful" and is regularly featured on Fatafeat.

Fatafeat broadcasts to about 55 million TV households in the Middle East and North Africa.

Discovery Communications’ global brands are led by Discovery Channel, available in 217 markets.