AMC Networks to acquire RLJ Entertainment


AMC Networks announced a deal to acquire the outstanding shares of RLJ Entertainment, the company headed by Robert Johnson that owns the OTT services Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel).
AMC plans to acquire the shares it does not currently own and are not affiliated with Johnson. Currently, the media company owns 26% of the outstanding shares of RLJ Entertainment common stock, while Johnson has 47%.
AMC announced that it will acquire the 27% of outstanding shares in RLJ Entertainment for a purchase price of USD 4.25 per share in cash. In turn, Johnson – who was the founder of BET Networks (now a Viacom division) – will retain a minority stake in the company.
In October 2016, AMC Networks invested USD 65 million in RLJ Entertainment. This agreement gave AMC the option to purchase majority ownership. In January this year, RLJ Entertainment announced that combined subscribers to its two proprietary digital channels, Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel or UMC, had surpassed 700,000, up 55% from previous year.
This way, AMC Networks – which has strong presence in Latin America through its brand portfolio – continues to invest in the online universe. The media company has already made investments in the YouTube network DanceOn (in 2013) and Latino-focused company MiTu (in 2015).
AMC expects the Board of Directors of RLJ Entertainment to form a special committee of independent directors to consider the proposal.