Shearman & Sterling is advising Liberty Global plc in a transaction under which Liberty Global and Discovery Communications each have agreed to purchase 5.0 million common shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (“Lionsgate”), resulting in each having an approximately 3.4% shareholding of Lionsgate’s current outstanding shares. These 10.0 million shares will be acquired from funds affiliated with MHR Fund Management LLC.
Liberty Global and Discovery Communications will each pay approximately $195 million for their respective stakes in Lionsgate. Additionally, Liberty Global and Discovery Communications will each have one designee appointed to Lionsgate's Board of Directors -- President and CEO Mike Fries for Liberty Global and President and CEO David Zaslav for Discovery Communications.
Liberty Global is the largest international cable company with operations in 14 countries. The company’s market-leading products are provided through next-generation networks and innovative technology platforms that connected 27 million customers subscribing to 57 million television, broadband internet and telephony services at September 30, 2015. In addition, Liberty Global served five million mobile subscribers and offered WiFi service across six million access points. Liberty Global's consumer brands are Virgin Media, Ziggo, Unitymedia, Telenet, UPC, VTR and Liberty.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the acclaimed drama Manhattan and the breakout series The Royals. Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise. Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates.
The Shearman & Sterling team included partners Robert Katz (New York-Mergers & Acquisitions), George Casey (New York-Mergers & Acquisitions), Donna Parisi (New York-Investment Funds), Kenneth Laverriere (New York-Compensation, Governance & ERISA), Laurence Bambino (New York-Tax), Ethan Harris (Washington, DC-Tax), Alan Goudiss (New York-Litigation), Jessica Delbaum (New York-Antitrust), and Matthew Readings (London-Antitrust); counsel Mathias Stöcker (Frankfurt-Antitrust), George Spera (New York-Compensation, Governance & ERISA), and Harald Halbhuber (New York-Capital Markets); and associates Cody Wright (New York-Mergers & Acquisitions), Edward Boehme (New York-Mergers & Acquisitions), Maria Marulanda Larsen (New York-Capital Markets), Ryan Seher (New York-Investment Funds), George Milton (London-Antitrust) and Ganaraj Hegde (New York-Investment Funds).