MUMBAI: Cable television networks' AMC Networks has reached a definitive agreement to substantially acquire all of Chellomedia, the international content division of Liberty Global for €750 million (approximately $1.035 billion). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
The acquisition would bring AMC Networks a wide number of television channels on board that are distributed to more than 390 million households in 138 countries. The channels span a range of genres, including movie and entertainment networks, providing significant long-range opportunities for AMC Networks to distribute its popular original programming from AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv across an expansive global footprint.
“Chellomedia has developed a remarkable portfolio of popular channels that reach millions of people around the world. As AMC Networks has expanded internationally, we have had a great desire to do something we consider fundamentally strategic, which is to take our content and put it on channels we own. This acquisition allows us to secure a large, global platform on which to distribute our increasingly successful original programming through a collection of strong, well-established and well-managed assets worldwide,” said AMC Networks president and CEO Josh Sapan. “Together, we can grow these assets and make them even more popular and valuable around the world.”
Chellomedia president Niall Curran said, “AMC Networks are content professionals with an excellent creative and business track record. They are highly enthusiastic about the business we have built at Chellomedia and are ambitious to develop it further, making AMC Networks a great owner and partner for Chello’s next phase of growth.”
In addition to the AMC channel, AMC Networks also owns IFC and IFC Films, WE and the Sundance Channel.
The agreement includes the acquisition of Chellomedia’s operating businesses including: Chello Central Europe, Chello Latin America, Chello Multicanal, Chello Zone, the ad sales unit Atmedia and the broadcast solutions unit Chello DMC.
Chellomedia’s has many channels in various genres such as movies, entertainment, sports, children, lifestyle and documentary.
Guggenheim Securities, LLC served as lead financial advisor to AMC Networks as well as providing capital structure and financing advice. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has provided a commitment for debt financing for the transaction and also served as financial advisor to AMC Networks. Legal advisors were Clifford Chance.