AMC Networks to acquire RLJ Entertainment


AMC Networks announced an agreement to buy RLJ Entertainment, the premium digital channel company that owns the OTT services Acorn TV (British TV), which is present in Latin America, and UMC (Urban Movie Channel).
In a statement, the media group said the aggregate enterprise transaction value is approximately USD 274 million. AMC Networks will pay, in cash, an aggregate of USD 65 million to holders of RLJ Entertainment’s outstanding common stock, preferred stock and warrants not currently owned by AMC Networks, RLJ Entertainment’s Founder and Chairman Robert L. Johnson and their respective affiliates, with will keep a stake of 17%.
AMC had previously announced plans to acquire RLJ Entertainment in February 2018, for USD 4.25 per share. Now, the group said it will pay USD 6.25 per share in cash, up 47%. Upon completion of the merger, RLJ Entertainment will become an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks.
Acorn TV provides high-quality British and international content. The service launched in Latin America in June. In turn, UMC is the first SVOD service created for African American and urban audiences. According to AMC, combined subscribers to Acorn TV and UMC have surpassed 800,000, an increase of over 100,000 subscribers from December 31, 2017, and representing an increase of 45% from a year ago.
“This acquisition furthers AMC Networks’ digital strategy by meaningfully accelerating our interests in direct-to-consumer ad-free subscription services that we own and control, in addition to providing us with access to strong IP as we continue to diversify our revenue opportunities, placing AMC Networks in a stronger position over the long term,” said Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks.
Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJ Entertainment, will participate in the next edition of NexTV CEO Latin America, the leading conference to be held on November 1 and 2 in Miami.