Lionsgate and Starz have announced a deal under which Lionsgate will buy Starz for a combination of cash and shares valued at US$4.4 billion.
The announcements speak of a combined company going forward, rather than two separate entities, and come less than three days after Starz board announced a new deal to keep Chris Albrecht as CEO until 2020.
The combined company will have 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.
Starz made the Spartacus TV shows in NZ and is currently producing the second season of Ash vs Evil Dead (pictured, top). Both shows were made through producer Rob Tapert.
The intention of the deal is threefold, to give Lionsgate platforms it doesn’t currently operate, achieve savings through synergy, and generally get bigger in an age when large media companies are combining.
The deal has yet to be approved by the two companies’ shareholders and US regulatory authorities. It’s expected to be competed by the end of the year.