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MGM Buying Out Partners to Take Ownership of Epix

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer agreed to buy out its partners in Epix, the premium programming service.

Viacom and Lionsgate, which together owned 81% of Epix, will receive $1.032 billion.

MGM said CEO Mark Greenberg will remain in place at Epix.

Epix, launched in 2009, has four linear pay TV channels, which are available over cable, satellite and telco. It is also available through digital distributors.

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MGM said the deal advances its growth strategy following its acquisition of United Artists Media Group.

"The addition of Epix provides MGM with a premier distribution platform that complements our strong stable of new and library content in both film and television. The acquisition creates increased revenue diversity, new opportunities for growth, and earnings accretion for the benefit of stockholders," said Gary Barber, Chairman and CEO of MGM.

“We also look forward to welcoming Mark Greenberg and his team to the MGM family. With Mark's strong leadership and dedicated management team, Epix's innovative platform and premium film and television content, Epix is well positioned to capitalize on the evolving patterns of content consumption in a dynamic distribution landscape,” Barber said.

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"This agreement between our founding partners MGM, Lionsgate and Viacom reflects the significant value already created in this joint-venture, while acknowledging the accelerated growth potential of Epix with a single, focused and committed owner,” Greenberg said. “We are proud to have built this very successful business and we want to thank our partners for their investment, strategic engagement and support since our founding.”

Viacom recently changed management and could use the proceeds from the sale to invest in its business. Lioinsgate recently became aligned with John Malone and Starz.

LionTree Advisors served as financial advisor to Viacom and Lionsgate. Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisors to MGM, Shearman & Sterling LLP served as legal advisors to Viacom and O'Melveny & Myers LLP served as legal advisors to Lionsgate.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.