Starz Shares Rise Over Acquisition Speculation

Ed Miller/Sony Pictures Television

Bloomberg reported that the company is again in talks to merge with AMC Networks.

Shares of Starz rose 7 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday when Bloomberg reported that the company controlled by John Malone is again in talks to merge with AMC Networks, which in the past two years has lost hit shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad

Starz shares closed the regular session on Tuesday up 1 percent to $38.79, giving it an enterprise value of $5.15 billion, about $1 billion more than what the company was worth a year ago when Starz declined an offer to be acquired by AMC.

Shares of AMC rose 2 percent on Tuesday to $74.14, giving the company behind the hit show The Walking Dead an enterprise value of $7.8 billion.

Malone told Bloomberg that Starz may ultimately need to combine with another company to gain market power in an era of "skinny bundles," where less popular channels are left out of cheaper cable offerings.

Starz, with hit shows like Outlander and Power, is routinely seen as an acquisition target, as is AMC, which is controlled by the same Dolan family that controls Cablevision Systems.