Lionsgate Completes $4.4B Acquisition of Starz

Jon Feltheimer Getty H 2016
Mike Pont/FilmMagic

Finalizing the acquisition follows investors on Wednesday approving the movie studio, led by CEO Jon Feltheimer, and the pay-TV business combining in a quickly changing entertainment landscape.

Lionsgate and Starz on Thursday completed their $4.4 billion merger after a day earlier securing overwhelming shareholder backing during separate special meetings.

"After planning the integration of Lionsgate and Starz for the past five months, we are more excited than ever at the value created by the combination of our two great companies,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns said in a statement.

Starz’s home entertainment and TV distribution operations are being consolidated into Lionsgate’s worldwide home entertainment and TV distribution businesses, Lionsgate said in a statement. The consolidation aims to bolster the studio in packaged media,  digital entertainment marketing and international TV sales.

The proposed combined company will have a 16,000-title film and TV library, making it the largest independent TV business in the world, with 87 original series on 42 U.S. networks. The TV output includes franchises like Orange Is the New Black, Greenleaf, The Royals and Nashville. The new entity also will include the operation of or investment in 30 channel platforms around the world, namely the flagship Starz platform that reaches 24 million U.S. subscribers, the Starz Encore network with over 32 million subscribers and five OTT services.