AMC Networks Inc., parent of cable channels AMC, WE and IFC, has struck a deal to acquire Liberty Global's Chellomedia for $1.035 billion.
For New York-based AMC Networks, the acquisition will vastly increase its international presence. Chellomedia has some 70 channels in about 140 countries that are available in almost 400 million homes that AMC can place its product in. Most of Chellomedia's outlets are in Europe and Latin America.
"This acquisition allows us to secure a large, global platform on which to distribute our increasingly successful original programming through a collection of strong, well-established and well-managed assets worldwide,” said Josh Sapan, CEO of AMC Networks.
Chellomedia also has partnerships with CBS, MGM and A&E; Networks. Whether some of those partnerships will be unwound because of conflicts with AMC remains to be seen.
AMC is the latest cable programmer to look overseas for growth. Time Warner -- parent of HBO, TBS, TNT and CNN -- and Discovery Communications have also aggressively been boosting their international presence.
The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Liberty Global is part of cable mogul John Malone's media empire.
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