Lionsgate is working towards separting the company’s studio division from its pay TV and streaming divisions. The company bought Starz for $4.4 billion in 2016 and already are parting ways, in a sense.
Earlier this week, Lionsgate announced the studio business will be rebranded as StarzPlay and rename the streaming service Starz as Lionsgate+ in 35 countries starting September 29th. Starz will remain as is in the U.S. and Canada, as will Starzplay in Arabia and Asia’s Lionsgate Play.
The companies will run as separate entities yet still “align in strategies at the end of the current sales process,” as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Liongate filed a Form 10 registration statement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last Wednesday.
This form restructures the divisions into separate corporations, somewhat un-merging the companies into a separate studio and media network brands, dubbed New Lionsgate and New Starz.
As for how this will affect shareholders, The Hollywood Reporter states:
“Each holder of Lionsgate’s existing Class A voting shares will receive shares of a new Class A voting common stock of New Starz and shares of New Lionsgate’s voting common stock. And each holder of shares of Lionsgate’s existing Class B non-voting common stock will receive shares of new Class B non-voting common stock of New Starz and shares of New Lionsgate’s non-voting common stock on a pro rata basis.”
“We remain excited by the prospect of separating Lionsgate and Starz into standalone companies with strong financial foundations that will allow each company to pursue its own distinct strategy while offering investors the opportunity to own both a pure-play publicly-traded content studio and a premium subscription platform,” said Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate.
If the separation is approved, Feltheimer will remain as the CEO of New Lionsgate. Michael Burns will stay on as Lionsgate’s Vice Chair while fellow Chair member Michael Rachesky is slated to join New Lionsgate’s board of directors.