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Discovery to Buy Nature Company Stores

April 29, 1996

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Expanding its retailing business, Discovery Communications Inc. said today it will acquire a chain of Nature Company Stores from CML Group for $40 million.

The deal gives Discovery of Bethesda, Md., 114 Nature Company Stores located in 34 states and three science stores. Included are outlets in Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and Denver, said Discovery spokesman Jim Boyle.

Discovery owns The Discovery Cable Channel and the Learning Channel cable networks.

The acquisition ``is the physical embodiment of what the Discovery Channel is all about,″ said Boyle at the National Cable Television Association convention here.

Discovery operates 15 retail stores under the Discovery name. The Nature Company sells everything from bird houses to games and clothing revolving around a nature theme.

Boyle said Discovery has no plans for a major overhaul of the merchandise sold by the Nature Company Stores, but said it does plan to add home videos and CD-ROMs of shows aired on The Discovery Channel.

The deal should strengthen Discovery’s brand name and provide the company with ample opportunities for cross promoting its cable and retail products, Boyle said.

CML is based in Acton, Mass., and includes among its holdings NordicTrak and Smith & Hawken.

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