The price remains the same – $255 million – but there is a new buyer to acquire TV Guide Network and TVGiude.com from Macrovision. TV and movie studio Lionsgate Entertainment is stepping in to replace Allen Shapiro and a private equity backer as the buyer. Lionsgate plans to expand the cable net into a full-service entertainment channel, while also using the TV and web outlets to promote its movies and programs.
Macrovision had planned to sell off the TV Guide assets from the time it acquired Gemstar-TV Guide for $2.8 billion. It announced last month that Shapiro would buy the cable net and website for $255 million with backing from One Equity Partners, which is related to JP Morgan Chase. It appears that Shapiro didn’t back out, but rather Macrovision decided to go with a buyer it was more confident of coming to the closing table.
"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.
"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 CEO 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,” he added.
Lionsgate had nearly $250 million of cash on hand as of its last quarterly report to the SEC and can draw on a $340 million credit line of it needs any more cash to close the buy. Closing is set for the last day of February.