MGM will acquire Viacom’s and Lionsgate’s collective 80.91% interest in premium pay-TV network Epix for $1 billion, the three companies said Wednesday.
“The addition of EPIX provides MGM with a premier distribution platform that complements our strong stable of new and library content in both film and television. The acquisition creates increased revenue diversity, new opportunities for growth, and earnings accretion for the benefit of stockholders,” said Gary Barber, Chairman and CEO of MGM in a statement.
The deal will give MGM control over Epix’s four linear pay-TV channels: Epix, Epix2, Epix Hits and Epix Drive-In.
Epix offers a large selection of theatrical films, as well as original series Berlin Station and Graves. This year, Get Shorty, an original series based on the film, will premiere.
Late last year, Lionsgate completed its $4.4 billion acquisition of Epix competitor Starz. At the time, industry speculation was that the company was likely to exit Epix.
RELATED: Lionsgate to Buy Starz for $4.4 Billion
Viacom is undergoing a reorganization under new CEO Bob Bakish, which includes shedding some of the company’s non-core assets.
“As Viacom executes against its new strategy, we welcome the opportunity to strengthen our balance sheet by realizing the value of our equity investment, while also extending the successful commercial partnership between Epix and Paramount Pictures with a new multi-year output agreement,” said Bakish in a statement.
RELATED: Viacom to Regroup, Focus on Six Key Channels
[Image of Berlin Station courtesy of Variety]