Lionsgate Eyes Sale of TV Guide Network (Report)

Lionsgate Logo Key Art 2011

The company had acquired the network, in which it now owns a 50 percent stake, and related assets in 2009 for $240 million.

NEW YORK - After its deal to acquire Twilight studio Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate is looking to sell its  TV Guide Network, the New York Post reported.

Analysts have previously suggested that the company could offload its 50 percent in the channel to raise some money and focus on core businesses.

On Tuesday, Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan said that Lionsgate is "apt to continue reviewing [the] sale of peripheral assets where the market does not assign value, including its TV Guide Network interest."

Lionsgate has hired a boutique investment bank to shop the network and is already talking to several private equity firms, the Post said, citing a source. The report said that the company could sell the TV Guide Web site separately or along with the network.

Lionsgate together with JPMorgan’s One Equity Partners and TV Guide Network chairman Allen Shapiro owns the TV Guide Network, and the TV Guide brand, but not TV Guide magazine. It acquired the assets from Macrovision in 2009 for slightly more than $240 million and later sold a stake.

The network in 2011 averaged 84,000 viewers, down 20 percent from 2010, the Post said citing Nielsen data.

Asked by The Hollywood Reporter about the potential price tag that the TV Guide Network could fetch, Harrigan said it is "hard to value now as operating cash flow and revenue have not come in as strong as expected." But he said $150 million-$200 million may be a reasonable low-end estimate for Lionsgate's stake. "There was a window when the valuation post-deal would have been materially high - even toward $450 million for 100 percent," he said.


Twitter: @georgszalai