Lionsgate is open for acquisition
The Future. Lionsgate is the latest Hollywood company looking for the richer pastures of a merger or acquisition. The biggest of the mini-major studios, Lionsgate hopes its movie studio can field prime offers on the back of its huge, fresh library… a library that could give any tech giant or streamer a major arsenal for fighting the streaming wars.
Gotta keep ‘em separated
Deadline reports that Lionsgate may be looking for a buyer.
- Lionsgate, which was already planning on finding a buyer for its Starz cable network and streaming service, confirmed that it now wants to spin off its studio business, which is behind franchises like John Wick, Hunger Games, and Saw.
- Talks with potential investors on the Starz side showed that there was an even stronger appetite for the studio business.
- Still, talks with “prospective strategic and financial partners” are already going down for both entities, according to a filing with the SEC.
- It’s rumored that suitors include Vivendi’s Canal+ (a huge player in Europe) and several private equity firms.
In a move that might seem counterintuitive to these plans, Lionsgate also announced that Starz would be rebranded as Lionsgate+ in 35 countries… but not the US and Canada.
Still, Wall Street liked the overall plan enough to tick up its stock price, giving the company a market cap of $1.8 billion.
Lionsgate was hoping to announce a deal for Starz earlier this month but has had more hoops to jump through because of the current economic environment. The company definitely wants more than the $4.4 billion it paid for the brand back in 2016, but the streaming market is in complicated waters right now.
Selling off Lionsgate may be a much easier move. The studio has a library of 17,000 titles and is constantly producing new projects. To company executives, that should command a higher price tag than the $8.4 billion that Amazon paid for MGM, which had an older library that had already been mined for remakes and reboots and was producing content at a slower pace.