Lionsgate and Starz have reached a major business agreement under which Lionsgate will acquire Starz for a combination of cash and stock totaling $4.4 billion, creating a global content powerhouse positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities worldwide.
According to the statement, the transaction significantly increases the combined company's content creation capabilities, enhances its leadership in premium scripted programming and scales its global distribution footprint across mobile, broadband, cable and satellite platforms. It also paves the way for a broad range of new content partnerships and accelerates the growth of Lionsgate and Starz's own OTT services. In addition, the acquisition is expected to generate significant revenue and cost synergies.
To illustrate the scale of the transaction, 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 U.S. 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 U.S. subscribers, the STARZ ENCORE network with over 32 million subscribers and five OTT services; and a growing presence in location-based entertainment and video games driven by the company's deep portfolio of brands and franchises.
Under the terms of the agreement, each share of Lionsgate common stock will be reclassified into 0.5 voting and 0.5 newly created non-voting shares. Holders of each share of Starz Series A common stock will receive $18.00 in cash as well as 0.6784 of a share of Lionsgate non-voting stock based on a fixed exchange ratio. Based on Lionsgate's 20-trading day volume weighted average price ("VWAP"), as of June 28, 2016, the offer represents a total value of $32.73 per share to Starz shareholders, an 18% premium to Starz's 20-trading day VWAP as of the same date. Holders of each share of Starz Series B common stock will receive $7.26 in cash and 0.6321 of a share of Lionsgate voting stock and 0.6321 of a share of Lionsgate non-voting stock.
"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 Dr. 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."