Lionsgate Stock Surges After Latest Starz Merger Speculation

Jon Feltheimer - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Jon Feltheimer - H 2015

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer is likely to address reports during a Friday morning analyst call.

Shares of Lionsgate spiked just before the market close on Wednesday after a report that merger talks between the studio and Starz had restarted.

Lionsgate shares shot up 7 percent to $26.85 just before 4 p.m. ET after a Bloomberg report said talks on the studio acquiring Starz had resumed.

Spokesmen for both companies declined comment on the report, which comes nearly a year after talks on a possible merger first surfaced before Liberty Media boss John Malone swapped a portion of his stake in Starz for a bit of The Hunger Games studio.

At the end of last year, Lionsgate took a stake in Starz to get deeper into business with Malone. A merger of Lionsgate and Starz is not thought to be imminent, as the latest discussions are reportedly at an early stage.

Lionsgate shares after the closing bell Wednesday settled back down to $25.54, up 35 cents or 1.4 percent, in after-hours trading. The company is set to release third-quarter results for fiscal 2016 after the market closes on Thursday.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and other top studio execs are likely to address the latest speculation about a possible merger with Starz during an analyst call on Friday.