Lionsgate sells 49% stake in TV Guide

$123 mil deal with One Equity Partners

TORONTO -- Lionsgate on Thursday sold a 49% stake in its TV Guide property to One Equity Partners, JPMorgan Chase's global private equity investment arm, for $123 million in cash.

Vancouver-based Lionsgate, which paid $255 million to Macrovision Solutions in February 2008 for the TV Guide Network cable channel and TVGuide.com online business, said that One Equity Partners retains an option to purchase another 1% stake in the TV properties.

As part of the deal, media investor Allen Shapiro will join the partnership as chairman to help steer the channel's growth, supported by Lionsgate's TV management team.

Shapiro, a former CEO of Dick Clark Prods., and One Equity Partners made an earlier offer to Macrovision for the TV Guide units, but eventually lost out to Lionsgate and its rival all-cash offer (HR 1/6).

The TV Guide Network reaches about 83 million homes.

"We are delighted to welcome both One Equity Partners and Allen Shapiro as partners in TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com," Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said. "Given their longstanding interest in the channel and the alignment of our interests, they are the ideal partners."

Lionsgate earlier talked about bringing in potential partners on the TV Guide property as part of a strategy to leverage its content into new distribution platforms.
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