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Lionsgate to Buy TVGuide.com

5 Jan, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Lionsgate will acquire the TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online properties from Macrovision, the companies announced late Jan. 5, in a deal worth a reported $255 million.

The deal negates a similar one announced Dec. 18 between Macrovision and Allen Shapiro and One Equity Partners, also for $255 million.

“This is tremendous real estate, rarely available, that fits extremely well with our strategy of combining content creation, distribution and direct access to the consumer,” said Jon Feltheimer, Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO.

He said TV Guide Network’s reach — 83 million homes — and TVGuide.com’s online presence — 15 million unique visitors each month — made the deal very attractive to the studio.

“This deal is consistent with our track record of accretive and potentially transformative acquisitions that are establishing the foundation for sustainable long-term growth,” he said.

Ryan O'Hara, president of TV Guide Network, called the deal a unique opportunity to pair Lionsgate’s content with his company’s platforms. Macrovision President and CEO Fred Amoroso said Lionsgate’s ability to fund the transaction with existing cash and available funds, with the closing not subject to financial performance requirements, allowed the deal to happen.

“In our previously announced transaction, prior to closing, Macrovision was permitted to solicit and enter into other agreements to sell the TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online properties,” he said. “We believe this transaction improves the probability and the timing of closing the transaction, while providing for non-contingent consideration comparable to our previously announced transaction.

“Throughout our divestiture process, speed, certainty to close and the overall terms of the transaction have been important considerations for us. We believe our agreement with Lionsgate represents an improvement for us on those considerations and the combination of these factors represents a positive result for Macrovision and its stockholders.”

Under the deal, Macrovision retains its grid syndications business through TVGuide.com, where it licenses its online guide to other Web sites.

The deal is expected to close by Feb. 28.

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