Film studio Lionsgate and premium cable network Starz have announced an agreement under which Lionsgate will acquire Starz for a combination of cash and stock totalling $4.4 billion.
The acquisition creates a global content powerhouse with a library of over 16,000 film and TV titles. The deal means Lionsgate will now boast the largest independent television business in the world with eight-seven original series on forty-two U.S. networks, along with a film business that has generated over $7 billion at the global box office over the past four years.
They will also have operation of or investment in thirty channel platforms around the world, including the flagship STARZ platform with 24 million U.S. subscribers, the STARZ ENCORE network with over 32 million subscribers, and five streaming services.
The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of Lionsgate and Starz and will be submitted to their respective shareholders for approval as well as to regulatory authorities. Closing is expected to occur by year-end.
Starz is behind such original series as “Outlander,” “Black Sails,” “Spartacus,” “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” “Da Vinci’s Demons,” “Party Down,” “The White Queen,” “Magic City,” “Boss,” “Camelot,” “Power,” “The Missing,” “Survivor’s Remorse,” “Blunt Talk,” “Flesh and Bone” and the upcoming “American Gods”. Lionsgate is behind such franchises as “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight,” and “The Expendables”.