Saban joins Lionsgate in running Tiger Gate

Offers money, expertise to Asia-based TV channel operator

NEW YORK -- Saban Capital Group is putting up money and expertise to join Lionsgate in running Tiger Gate, an operator of pay TV channels and distributor of TV programming in the action, thriller and horror genres across Asia.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Tiger Gate was established in 2008 by Lionsgate in partnership with William Pfeiffer and Paul Presburger, who make up the leadership team of the firm.

Tiger Gate operates the thriller/horror channel Thrill and action network KIX. The channels launched in Indonesia in August and will launch in Hong Kong and Singapore on April 28.

Tiger Gate plans to expand its offerings to Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei in the coming year. Plans for China, India, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the Middle East are also being discussed for "the near future," the firm said.

The venture partners also plan to launch additional channels and acquire existing media assets in Asia. Tiger Gate also plans to produce local feature films and TV content to feed its channels.

"We welcome Saban Capital Group as a partner and look forward to the talent and expertise their team will provide as we expand Tiger Gate into the world's largest and fastest-growing market," Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer said. "We are doing what we do best -- focusing on large niches that play to our strengths. We are very excited to bring the Lionsgate brand to Asia."

Saban Capital Group president and COO Adam Chesnoff lauded Tiger Gate as an "attractive investment that will allow SCG to expand our global footprint and capitalize on high-growth opportunities in the Asian market." He added: "Tiger Gate is off to a strong start, and we are confident that, with the addition of Lionsgate's content and marketing and our operational experience and financial strength, this venture will achieve sustainable, long-term success."

TIger Gate will continue to be run by CEO Pfeiffer and Lionsgate International executive Paul Presburger.