Lionsgate Mulls Spinning off Studio Business

Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF.B) is reportedly leaning toward spinning off its studio division rather than its Starz cable and streaming unit.

This would be a change in strategy for the media and entertainment company, which said in May it expected to finalize a spin or sale of Starz by the end of summer.

In recent months, Lionsgate has held talks to sell a 20% stake in Starz to a number of potential buyers, including most recently Vivendi-owned Canal+, the people said, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Those talks haven’t ended, but no deal is imminent, said the people.

Lionsgate is engaged in talks with multiple potential partners about selling a stake in the studio business, said the people. Those talks are likely to more quickly reach a deal Lionsgate is comfortable with than for Starz since there’s more robust interest, the people said. The studio business produces films and TV series, and includes a library of more than 17,000 titles, such as “The Hunger Games,” “The Expendables,” and “Mad Men.”

Lionsgate is expected to make a formal announcement on its new plans as early as Wednesday. A Lionsgate spokesperson declined to comment.

Lionsgate’s market valuation is about $1.8 billion, down from nearly $7 billion in early 2018.

LGF.B shares opened Wednesday sank 17 cents, or 2%, to $7.99.