AMC Networks has struck a deal with Liberty Global to acquire the Chellomedia portfolio of networks for €750 million (US$1.04 billion), giving it an array of lifestyle and factual channels broadcast in some 390 million households worldwide.
The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, gives AMC international lifestyle channels such as Canal Cocina, Casa, Cosmopolitan, Decasa, El Gourmet, Ella, Outdoor, Spektrum Home and TV Paprika; and international documentary channels such as Bio, Crimen & Investigación, Historia, Natura, Odisea Odisseia*, Reality TV and Spektrum.
The deal includes the acquisition of Chellomedia’s operating businesses, including Chello Central Europe; Chello Latin America; Chello Multicanal; Chello Zone; the ad sales unit Atmedia and the broadcast solutions unit Chello DMC.
In a statement, AMC said the agreement would help build its existing international programming business, AMC/Sundance Channel Global, the firm “significant long-range opportunities… to distribute its popular original programming from AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv across an expansive global footprint.”
Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks, said: “Chellomedia has developed a remarkable portfolio of popular channels that reach hundreds of millions around the world. As AMC Networks has expanded internationally, we have had a great desire to do something we consider fundamentally strategic, which is to take our content and put it on channels we own.
“This acquisition allows us to secure a large, global platform on which to distribute our increasingly successful original programming through a collection of strong, well-established and well-managed assets worldwide.”
Chellomedia president Niall Curran added: “AMC Networks are content professionals with an excellent creative and business track record. They are highly enthusiastic about the business we have built at Chellomedia and are ambitious to develop it further, making AMC Networks a great owner and partner for Chello’s next phase of growth.”
Guggenheim Securities served as lead financial advisor to AMC Networks, as well as providing capital structure and financing advice.
BofA Merrill Lynch has provided a commitment for debt financing for the transaction and also served as financial advisor to AMC Networks. The legal advisors were Clifford Chance.