Shareholders from both companies voted overwhelmingly for the transaction for approximately $4.4bn in cash and stock first announced in June.
The acquisition by Lionsgate of Starz creates one of the largest content platforms in the world, comprising a film and TV library of 16,000 titles, the STARZ premium pay-TV operation, Lionsgate’s film distribution and sales business and a host of streaming services.
The acquisition was approved by 98% of the votes cast by Lionsgate shareholders and 95% of the votes cast by Starz shareholders, in person or represented by proxy and not including abstentions, at the companies’ respective shareholder meetings on Wednesday.
The parties said all necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained and all conditions to the closing have been satisfied.
Lionsgate stock is now split in two. Each share of previously existing Lionsgate common stock has been reclassified into 0.5 newly created voting shares of Lionsgate and 0.5 newly created non-voting shares of Lionsgate.
Holders of Starz Series A common stock are receiving $18 in cash as well as 0.6784 shares of Lionsgate Class B non-voting stock. Holders of Starz Series B common stock are receiving $7.26 in cash, 0.6321 shares of Lionsgate Class A voting stock and 0.6321 shares of Lionsgate Class B non-voting stock.
Previously existing Lionsgate common shares and Starz common shares will no longer be listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ, respectively, effective December 9.
Lionsgate will operate Starz as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Chris Albrecht will continue to serve as president and CEO of Starz and reports to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and will also join Lionsgate’s executive management committee.
Starz’s home entertainment and television distribution units are being consolidated into Lionsgate’s worldwide home entertainment and television distribution businesses, respectively.
“After planning the integration of Lionsgate and Starz for the past five months, we are more excited than ever at the value created by the combination of our two great companies,” said Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns.
“Chris and his team have built Starz into a strong brand, a world-class distribution platform and a premium programming leader, and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Lionsgate family. Working together, we believe that the strategic opportunities are enormous, and we’re pleased that our shareholders recognize the transformative potential of the transaction.”
“Lionsgate and Starz have a shared vision – to make incredible content for audiences across the world and capitalise on technology and innovation to distribute that content across multiple platforms and devices,” said Albrecht.
“There is no better time to be in this business and no better company to be a part of. I am thrilled to join Jon, Michael and the rest of the Lionsgate team in growing our combined company into a global content powerhouse.”