Lionsgate is in discussions to sell its stake in the premium cable channel Epix to the channel’s other two shareholders, MGM Holdings Inc. and Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc, Reuters reports, citing sources who are familiar with the matter.
“The move follows Lionsgate’s announcement that it would explore its options for its Epix stake following its $4.4 billion acquisition last month of pay TV network Starz Entertainment LLC,” Reuters reports. “Any deal would likely value Epix, which comes with an online streaming service, somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion, the people said this week. The outcome could be that MGM and Viacom become 50-50 partners in Epix, the people added, cautioning that no deal was certain.”
The sources for the story reportedly asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Reps for the companies either declined to comment for the story or could not be reached.
“Currently Viacom and its studio unit, Paramount Pictures, own about 50 percent of Epix, while Lionsgate owns less than 32 percent, and MGM has about 19 percent, according to filings,” Reuters notes, adding: “Epix, whose shows include ‘Berlin Station’ and ‘Graves,’ has about 14 million subscribers, according to SNL Kagan. It is available in over 50 million homes. Starz owns a pair of premium cable channels and a streaming service.”