Lionsgate buys "Twilight" studio for $ 412.5M

January 14, 2012 9:36 am 

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 — Leading independent motion picture producer and distributor Lionsgate has acquired vampire and werewolves epic series "Twilight" producer Summit Entertainment for 412.5 million U.S. dollars, the company announced on Friday.

The announcement helped settle the dust on the acquisition which had circled around for a couple of months, as Lionsgate beat out other bidders headed by Colony Capital to complete the high- publicity deal.

"This transaction continues Lionsgate's long-term growth strategy of building a diversified worldwide media company through a combination of disciplined, accretive strategic acquisitions and organic growth while maintaining a solid balance sheet," said Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns.

"Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger have built a remarkable organization, and we're pleased to welcome Summit's talented team to the Lionsgate family," they added, referring to the co-chairs of Summit Entertainment.

Lionsgate will foot the majority of the bill with cash, which includes 55 million dollars of existing cash, 45 million of cash received from a newly issued series of Lionsgate convertible notes, as well as 50 million dollars of its common stock and an additional 20 million dollars of cash or stock to be issued at its option within 60 days, the Santa Monica, Calif. -based firm said.

The deal, which had been on and off since late 2008, will boost Lionsgate's library of 13,000 titles, and helps pave the way for its overseas development with the addition of an international distribution network from the Summit Entertainment which it lacks.

Summit Entertainment, also based in Santa Monica, will retain its label, according to the announcement. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/eds


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