Lionsgate to Buy Cable TV Operator Starz

The film and TV studio behind such hits as The Hunger Games and Orange is the New Black is set to acquire Starz, the operator behind channels like Starz and Encore, for $4.4 billion. The merger of studio and cable TV giant will result in Lionsgate movies airing on Starz and related channels.

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“The transaction significantly increases the combined company’s content-creation capabilities, enhances its leadership in premium scripted programming and scales its global distribution footprint across mobile, broadband, cable and satellite platforms,” said a joint statement, adding that the deal “is expected to generate significant revenue and cost synergies.”

Lionsgate said Thursday that it will pay holders of Starz Series A stock $18 in cash and 0.6784 of a Lionsgate share. Starz Series B stockholders will receive $7.26 in cash and 1.2642 of Lions Gate stock.

Lionsgate already owns stakes in the Epix and Pop channels, while Starz, besides its channels, also owns Anchor Bay Entertainment, which distributes movies on DVDs.

We’ll keep you updated on this story as more happens in the future.