Lionsgate will pay $4.4 billion (€3.96bn) for the network, in the process creating a 16,000-title film and television library.
“The combination of Lionsgate and Starz brings significant scale to our portfolio of content and distribution assets and will enable us to compete successfully in today’s rapidly evolving global entertainment marketplace,” said Dr Mark H. Rachesky, Lionsgate’s Chairman of the Board. “By bringing together complementary resources, premium quality intellectual property and exceptional management, this strategic transaction positions us extremely well to unlock the underlying value of our content to create substantial lasting value for our shareholders.”
Launched in 1994 Starz is known for original programming including Outlander (pictured) and a later series of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.
Greg Maffei, Chairman of Starz, said, “Chris Albrecht and his team have grown Starz into an industry leader that provides highly-rated and diverse content, drawing critical claim and brand recognition for Starz. Together, Lionsgate and Starz form an entertainment powerhouse with a world-renowned studio that produces blockbuster movies and channels with must-have programming that will be able to capitalize on content opportunities across multiple platforms.”
The purchase brings to an end two years of uncertainty after Starz was spun off from the Liberty Media empire headed by John Malone.