Producer-distributor Lionsgate is to acquire U.S. pay-TV network Starz for US$4.4 billion in cash and stock to create “a global content powerhouse.”
The transaction – valued at $32.73 per share to Starz shareholders – will escalate the content creation capabilities of the two firms while enhancing global distribution across all platforms. In addition, the acquisition will generate “significant revenue and cost synergies” through new content partnerships and augmented growth of Lionsgate and Starz’s OTT services.
Lionsgate’s film and television library will now sit at 16,000 titles, with more than 87 original series on 42 U.S. networks, making it one of the largest indie TV businesses worldwide.
The Santa Monica-headquartered firm will now also acquire operation or investment in 30 channel platforms globally, including the Starz flagship platform, with a U.S. subscriber base of 24 million; Starz Encore, with more than 32 million subscribers; and five additional OTT services.
The agreement has been approved by the board of directors for both Lionsgate and Starz, and is pending approval from shareholders and regulatory authorities. The creation of Lionsgate’s non-voting stock is also subject to shareholder approval.
“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,” said Lionsgate chair Mark H. Rachesky in a statement.