Lionsgate Closes Starz Acquisition8 Dec, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Bill Clark leaving Anchor Bay Entertainment
As expected, shareholders have overwhelmingly approved Lionsgate’s $4.4 billion purchase of Starz. About 98% and 95% of Lionsgate and Starz shareholders, respectively, Dec. 7 approved acquisition of the multichannel company, which includes premium TV, home entertainment and over-the-top distribution.
Lionsgate will operate Starz as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Chris Albrecht will continue as CEO of Starz, reporting to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, and will join Lionsgate’s executive management committee.
“We believe that the strategic opportunities are enormous, and we’re pleased that our shareholders recognize the transformative potential of the transaction,” Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns said in a joint statement.
As previously reported, Lionsgate is consolidating home entertainment operations, including Starz Distribution, which distributes titles from The Weinstein Co., and Anchor Bay Entertainment — the latter headed for the past 10 years by Bill Clark, into its home entertainment unit headed by Jim Packer and Ron Schwartz.
Clark will be transitioning out the company after a few months, according to Anchor Bay/Starz. Additional personnel changes, if any, were not disclosed.
Starz original series, "Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season" is its best-selling 30-minute episodic season one title since 2010.
Starz Distribution reported an operating loss of $2.5 million on revenue of $60.9 million during its most-recent fiscal period. The distributor cited a dearth of Weinstein releases, as well as $2.8 million increase in cash paid for investment in films and TV programs for the loss.