Macrovision (Nasdaq: MVSN) has terminated its agreement to sell the TV Guide Network to One Equity Partners for $225 million, after reaching a $255 million agreement to sell TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online to Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF).
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leadingnext generation studio, and Macrovision Solutions Corporation (NASDAQ: MVSN), a digital entertainment technology leader, today announced an agreement for Lionsgate to acquire the TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online properties from Macrovisionfor $255 million in consideration. Macrovision has terminated its previous agreement to sell such properties announced on December 18, 2008. The transaction between Lionsgate and Macrovision is expected to close by February 28, 2009, and is subject to certain indemnifications and customary closing conditions. The transaction will be funded with Lionsgate’s existing cash and available funds and the closing is not subject to financial performance requirements.
TV Guide Network is the 19th most distributed network and available in 83 million homes. TV Guide.com is one of the fastest-growing online entertainment destinations with over 15 million monthly unique visitors.
“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 Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. “The transaction pairs our vast array of content with a branded channel and online platform available in 83 million homes and is part of our broader strategy of growing our global portfolio of channels to reach audiences worldwide. This deal is consistent with our track record of accretive and potentially transformative acquisitions that are establishing the foundation for sustainable long-term growth.”
“The TV Guide Network team is excited to be joining a world-class entertainment company like Lionsgate,” added Ryan O’Hara, President of TV Guide Network. “This is a great opportunity to continue our transformation into a fully distributed, entertainment-focused network and web platform.”
“We are delighted to reach this agreement with Lionsgate, which brings a tremendous and unique media skill set to the ongoing development of both the TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com properties. 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. 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,” said Fred Amoroso, President and CEO of Macrovision. “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.”
The structure of the deal also allows Macrovision to utilize the strategic capabilities of TV Guide Online while remaining focused on Macrovision’s core competencies in technology, just as the previously announced transaction had provided. Specifically, Macrovision retains the key strategic on-line elements currently utilized through this site, namely its B2B grid syndications business, whereby the company licenses its online guide to other portals, and functionality that enhances its embedded guidance product offering, such as integration from embedded guides with online or mobile guides that allow for remote record.
Lionsgate’s television business includes the critically-acclaimed series Mad Men for AMC and Weeds for Showtime, which recently combined for five Golden Globe nominations. Lionsgate also produces the comedy Nurse Jackie for Showtime, the drama Crash for Starz, the horror anthology Fear Itself for NBC and FEARnet and Paris Hilton’s My New Best Friend Forever for MTV in addition to distributing the Wendy Williams Show, E! True Hollywood Stories, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Trivial Pursuit, Family Feud, South Park and Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns through wholly-owned Debmar-Mercury. Lionsgate’s growing array of channel platforms includes: FEARnet, launched with partners Sony and Comcast in October 2006, which has become one of Comcast’s top five on demand channels and reaches over 30 million subscribers; the premium entertainment channel Epix, which is expected to launch in October 2009 with partners Viacom and MGM; a 42% interest in the premier young male online destination site Break.com, which generates more than 50 million unique monthly visitors; and two new channels, Thrill and Kix, which will be launched across Asia under the TigerGate brand later in the year.
More than 82 million TV households currently enjoy Macrovision licensed interactive programming guides (IPGs) which provides the TV viewer program listings information, making it the primary tool for managing the TV experience. Macrovision’s solution portfolio, which includes industry-leading IPGs and program metadata, associated patent portfolio, music and video metadata, media recognition, as well as networking and security technologies, position the company firmly at the center of the shift to digital entertainment. Macrovision continues to invest in and develop new guide technologies that enhance the consumers total entertainment experience, including new offerings for CE device makers, system operators, service providers and content providers of virtually all forms of entertainment.
Macrovision has no further update to its financial estimates for 2008 and 2009 that were disclosed in connection with the previously announced transaction.
UBS Investment Bank served as financial advisor to Macrovision on this transaction. Piper Jaffrey served as financial advisor to Lionsgate and O’Melveny & Myers served as Lionsgate’s outside legal counsel.
Lionsgate is the leading next generation filmed entertainment studio with a major presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company is leveraging its content leadership and marketing expertise through a series of partnerships that include the operation of the highly successful FEARnet branded VOD and Internet horror channel with Sony and Comcast, the expected fall 2009 launch of the premium entertainment channel Epix with partners Viacom and MGM, investment in the leading young men’s digital distribution platform Break.com, ownership of the premier independent television syndication company Debmar-Mercury and an alliance with independent filmed entertainment production and distribution company Roadside Attractions. Lionsgate also has forged partnerships with leading content creators, owners and distributors in key territories around the world, including Televisa in the U.S. and Latin America, StudioCanal in the UK, Hoyts and Sony in Australia and Eros International in India.
The Company has generated more than $450 million at the North American theatrical box office in the past 12 months and has forged leadership positions in television and home entertainment with the production of such critically-acclaimed television series as Weeds and Mad Men, the distribution of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Family Feud, South Park, Trivial Pursuit and The Dead Zone, and nearly 8% market share and the industry’s leading box office-to-DVD conversion rate in home entertainment. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with entrepreneurial innovation and original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe. More information on Lionsgate can be found at http://www.lionsgate.com/.
About Macrovision Solutions Corporation
Macrovision Solutions Corporation is focused on providing a uniquely simple digital home entertainment experience by delivering solutions to businesses to protect, enhance and distribute digital goods to consumers across multiple channels. Macrovision’s technologies are deployed by companies in the entertainment, consumer electronics, cable and satellite, and online distribution markets to solve industry-specific challenges and bring greater value and a more robust user experience to their customers. The result of deploying Macrovision’s solutions is a simple end user experience for discovering, managing and enjoying digital content. Today, Macrovision provides connected middleware, media recognition, interactive programming guides, copy protection and rich media, data and metadata on music, games, movies and television programming. The company also operates an entertainment portal which can be found at http://www.allmusic.com. Macrovision holds over 4,100 issued or pending patents and patent applications worldwide.
Macrovision is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with numerous offices across the United States and around the world including Japan, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom. More information about Macrovision can be found at http://www.macrovision.com/.