Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns Extends Contract Through 2022

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Michael Burns

The top executive has re-upped with the studio ahead of a merger with Starz.

Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns has extended his contract with the Hollywood studio through October 2022.

Lionsgate, in an SEC 8K filing on Friday, unveiled the new long-term deal, which comes ahead of the current contract expiring on Oct. 30, 2017, and a planned $4.4 billion merger with Starz.

Burns will continue to receive an annual base salary of $1 million, and become eligible to receive an annual performance bonus and a target bonus of 75 percent of his base salary. He is also offered a bonus of $4 million to come if Lionsgate meets performance goals set for the immediate period following the Starz acquisition.

The Starz deal will diversify the studio and make it more of a TV powerhouse, with around $4 billion in annual revenue. The combined company is expected to spend about $1 billion a year to create new series and about $800 million to make movies. For its part, the tie-up with Lionsgate aims to allow Starz — the home of such popular shows as Outlander, Power and Survivor's Remorse — to bulk up to compete in the new digital landscape.

Burns is re-upping two weeks after CEO Jon Feltheimer extended his own contract to 2023. Burns last renewed his own contract in 2012, after Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment and found success with the teen tentpole The Hunger Games.

He joined Lionsgate in 2000 and, alongside Feltheimer, has created a studio that rivals other major Hollywood studios with YA properties, such as the Hunger Games and Divergent movie franchises, and a successful shift into TV production.