SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 30 (UPI) -- Lionsgate says it has acquired Starz for a combination of cash and stock totaling $4.4 billion.
The combined company said in a press release it's now the largest independent television company in the world, with 87 original series on 42 U.S. networks, a feature film business that has generated over $7 billion at the global box office over the past four years; and operation of or investment in 30 channels around the world. It also owns a 16,000-title film and television library.
"The combination of Lionsgate and Starz brings significant scale to our portfolio of content and distribution assets and will enable us to compete successfully in today's rapidly evolving global entertainment marketplace," Mark H. Rachesky, Lionsgate's chairman of the board, said in a statement Thursday. "By bringing together complementary resources, premium quality intellectual property and exceptional management, this strategic transaction positions us extremely well to unlock the underlying value of our content to create substantial lasting value for our shareholders."
Greg Maffei, chairman of Starz, added: "Chris Albrecht and his team have grown Starz into an industry leader that provides highly-rated and diverse content, drawing critical claim and brand recognition for Starz. Together, Lionsgate and Starz form an entertainment powerhouse with a world-renowned studio that produces blockbuster movies and channels with must-have programming that will be able to capitalize on content opportunities across multiple platforms. The combined company will be well-positioned to return more value to our shareholders and effectively compete in the global media marketplace."
Starz is the home of the hit original TV shows Outlander, Power and The Girlfriend Experiment.