SANTA MONICA, CA, and VANCOUVER, BC, May 28, 2009 — Lionsgate announced today that One Equity Partners (OEP), the global private equity investment arm of JPMorgan Chase, will become a 49% equity partner in Lionsgate’s TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com. One Equity Partners will pay approximately $123 million in cash for a 49% stake in the network and the TV Guide.com online business. OEP retains the option of buying another 1% of TV Guide Network and TV Guide.com under certain circumstances. Allen Shapiro, a leading media investor, has also joined the partnership and will play an important role in the channel’s growth as Chairman of the joint venture, partnering with Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer to lead the channel’s Executive Committee, supported by Lionsgate’s television management team.Lionsgate acquired TV Guide Network, which reaches approximately 83 million homes and is one of the 30 most widely-distributed cable networks, and leading online navigation site TV Guide.com on February 28, 2009 for approximately $250 million.
“We are delighted to welcome both One Equity Partners and Allen Shapiro as partners in TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com,” said Feltheimer. “Given their longstanding interest in the channel and the alignment of our interests, they are the ideal partners. OEP is a distinguished and well-capitalized firm that shares our vision of building a dynamic entertainment channel driven by Lionsgate-branded content that will prove to be a major force within our industry.”
“I believe that TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com are unique assets which are difficult to replicate and create enormous opportunities for sustained future growth,” said Shapiro.
The acquisition of TV Guide Network continues Lionsgate’s strategy of leveraging its content leadership into new channel distribution platforms that include the branded horror channel FEARnet, operated with partners Sony and Comcast, and the new premium entertainment channel EPIX, which is scheduled to launch in October with partners Viacom and MGM. The acquisition of TV Guide.com, a leading online navigation site which has grown from five to 19 million monthly unique visitors in the past three years, continues to expand Lionsgate’s online businesses, which include a 42 percent investment in leading young men’s site Break Media and an innovative partnership with YouTube for a dedicated Lionsgate channel of filmed entertainment content.