Lionsgate to Acquire Starz for $4.4 Billion


SANTA MONICA: Independent studio Lionsgate is acquiring Starz in a cash and stock deal worth $4.4 billion.

For the combined company, the deal is expected to generate significant revenue and cost synergies, bolster its content creation capabilities and scale its global distribution footprint. The alliance should result in new content partnerships and drive the expansion of both Lionsgate’s and Starz’s OTT services.

“The combination of Lionsgate and Starz brings significant scale to our portfolio of content and distribution assets and will enable us to compete successfully in today’s rapidly evolving global entertainment marketplace,” said Dr. Mark H. Rachesky, Lionsgate’s chairman of the board. “By bringing together complementary resources, premium quality intellectual property and exceptional management, this strategic transaction positions us extremely well to unlock the underlying value of our content to create substantial lasting value for our shareholders.”

The combined company will house a library of 16,000 film and television titles; an independent TV business with 87 original series on 42 networks; a feature-film operation and a portfolio of 30 channel platforms. Starz in the U.S. reaches 24 million subs and Starz Encore has more than 32 million subscribers.

“This transaction unites two companies with strong brands, complementary assets and leading positions within our industry,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. “We expect the acquisition to be highly accretive, generate significant synergies and create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Chris Albrecht and his team have built a world-class platform and programming leader, and we’re proud to marshal our resources in a deal that accelerates our growth and diversification, generates exciting new strategic content opportunities and creates significant value for our shareholders.”

Greg Maffei, Chairman of Starz, said, “Chris Albrecht and his team have grown Starz into an industry leader that provides highly-rated and diverse content, drawing critical claim and brand recognition for Starz. Together, Lionsgate and Starz form an entertainment powerhouse with a world-renowned studio that produces blockbuster movies and channels with must-have programming that will be able to capitalize on content opportunities across multiple platforms. The combined company will be well-positioned to return more value to our shareholders and effectively compete in the global media marketplace.”

Albrecht added, “Jon, Michael and the rest of the Lionsgate team have built the first major new Hollywood studio in decades, and we’re thrilled to join with them in a transaction that multiplies the strengths of our respective businesses. Our similar entrepreneurial cultures and shared vision of the future will make this alliance an incredible fit that creates tremendous value for our shareholders, great content for our audiences and limitless opportunities for our newly-combined company.  I am very appreciative of the work, passion and dedication of both of our companies’ employees and more enthusiastic than ever about the future of our business.”