Film and TV studio Lionsgate announced that it will buy Starz for USD4.4 billion in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

 

Lionsgate is the company behind “The Hunger Games” movies and Netflix’s successful series “Orange Is the New Black”.  Starz operates its namesake channel, as well as Starz Encore and MoviePlex.

 

In a press release, Lionsgate informed that the combined company will encompass “a 16,000-title film and television library; the largest independent television business in the world, including 87 original series on 42 U.S. networks”.

 

According to the company, the flagship Starz platform reaches 24 million U.S. subscribers, while Starz Encore network has over 32 million subscribers.

 

Santa Monica, California-based Lionsgate already owns stakes in Epix and Pop channels.  Starz is based in Englewood, Colorado. The company also owns Anchor Bay Entertainment, the independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases a wide array of filmed entertainment in the theatrical and home entertainment markets.

 

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