Lionsgate swoops for Starz in $4.4 billion deal | Major Businesses | Business
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
Programming production, distribution and syndication firm Lionsgate has made a huge addition to its portfolio with the acquisition of content giant Starz in a deal valued at $4.4 billion.

starzThe 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.

Lionsgate believes the takeover makes it a global content powerhouse well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities worldwide. That is the deal significantly increases both its and Starz’s content creation capabilities, enhancing what it claims is its leadership in premium scripted programming and scales its global distribution footprint across mobile, broadband, cable and satellite platforms.

By way of proof, Lionsgate said that the combined company will encompass: a 16,000-title film and television library; the largest independent television business in the world, including 87 original series on 42 US networks; a feature film business that has generated over $7 billion at the global box office over the past four years; operation of or investment in 30 channel platforms around the world, including the flagship STARZ platform reaching 24 million US subscribers, the STARZ ENCORE network with over 32 million subscribers and five over-the-top (OTT) services; and a growing presence in location-based entertainment and video games driven by the company's deep portfolio of brands and franchises.

Interestingly, Lionsgate also noted in addition to generating significant revenue and cost synergies, the deal will pave the way for a broad range of new content partnerships and accelerates the growth of Lionsgate and Starz's own 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 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 Lionsgate team has 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,” added Starz chief executive officer Chris Albrecht. “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.”