AMC Networks has reached a definitive agreement to acquire all of Chellomedia, the international content division of Liberty Global, for €750 million.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 and is subject to limited closing conditions. It is not dependent on any regulatory approvals. Last May Liberty Global put its Chellomedia television-channel business up for sale and was expected to bring in between €580 and €750 million.
Liberty Global has said that it expects to realise cash proceeds for the above-described assets that are approximately equal to the agreed upon enterprise value of €750 million ($1,035 million). The consolidated assets to be divested generated approximately €350 million of revenue during the last twelve-months ended June 30, 2013.
The agreement includes the acquisition of Chellomedia’s operating businesses including: Chello Central Europe, Chello Latin America, Chello Multicanal, Chello Zone, the ad sales unit Atmedia and the broadcast solutions unit Chello DMC, based in Amsterdam. In addition, Chellomedia’s stakes in its joint ventures with CBS International, A+E Networks, Zon Optimus and certain other partners are also part of the transaction.
Liberty Global will retain its Dutch premium channel business, which consists of its Film1 and Sport1 channels.
AMC Networks owns and operates a number of channels including AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv and owns hit shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. The acquisition provides AMC Networks with an extensive array of television channels that are distributed to more than 390 million households in 138 countries. The channels span a range of genres, including movie and entertainment networks, providing significant long-range opportunities for AMC Networks to distribute its popular original programming from its channels across an expansive global footprint.
“Chellomedia has developed a remarkable portfolio of popular channels that reach hundreds of millions around the world. As AMC Networks has expanded internationally, we have had a great desire to do something we consider fundamentally strategic, which is to take our content and put it on channels we own. This acquisition allows us to secure a large, global platform on which to distribute our increasingly successful original programming through a collection of strong, well-established and well-managed assets worldwide,” said Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks.
“Together, we can grow these assets and make them even more popular and valuable around the world.”
“AMC Networks are content professionals with an excellent creative and business track record,” added Chellomedia President Niall Curran, “They are highly enthusiastic about the business we have built at Chellomedia and are ambitious to develop it further, making AMC Networks a great owner and partner for Chello’s next phase of growth.”
Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global, said: “This is a great transaction for all parties. Chellomedia is one of the largest international channel groups with distribution to more than 390 million households in 138countries and I have no doubt that the management team will continue to build tremendous value as part of AMC. For Liberty Global, this transaction is attractive from both a valuation and liquidity perspective. It also simplifies our business and allows us to focus on our core markets and more strategic programming opportunities.”
Chellomedia’s portfolio of channels includes movie channels: Canal Hollywood , CBS Drama, Cinematk, Europa Europa, Film Café, Film Mania, MGM, Somos, XTRM ; Entertainment channels: Buzz, Canal A, CBS Reality , Film&Arts, Horror Channel, MOV, Sol Musica; Sports channels: America Sports, Extreme Sports Channel, Sport1(in various territories); Children’s channels: Panda Biggs, Jim Jam, Megamax, Minimax, Panda; Lifestyle channels: Canal Cocina, Casa, Cosmopolitan, Decasa, El Gourmet, Ella, Outdoor, Spektrum Home, TV Paprika ; and documentary channels: Bio, Crimen & Investigacion, Historia, Natura, Odisea, Odisseia, Reality TV, Spektrum