Lionsgate Roars: Shares Up 7 Percent on Merger Report

Interest from Amazon, Verizon and a combined CBS-Viacom has investors intrigued

Lionsgate could be a takeover target in 2018 — and that has Wall Street buzzing.

Shares of the studio jumped 6.75 percent to $34.46 on Wednesday, following a Deadline report it has several potential suitors, including Amazon, Verizon, and a combined CBS-Viacom.

Reps for Lionsgate did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The CBS-Viacom-Lionsgate triumvirate would bring popular franchises like “The Hunger Games” and “Orange Is the New Black” to the bolstered network. Last week, TheWrap reported Shari Redstone, CBS and Viacom vice-chairwoman, was pushing to consolidate the two media companies.

At the same time, Amazon’s interest makes sense. The tech kingpin has already had success in Hollywood, with “Transparent” netting Jeffrey Tambor an Emmy, and “Manchester by the Sea” winning two Oscars last year. Beefing up its content slate would give its customers another reason to sign up for Prime — and keep them spending in the Amazon ecosystem.

A merger with Verizon would give the country’s biggest telecom company a wealth of content for distribution. However, the unexpected roadblocks the AT&T-Time Warner deal has run into with the Department of Justice could be an issue here as well. But with Disney closing its $52.4 billion acquisition of several 21st Century Fox properties last month, the industry M&A market could be heating up.

Thursday’s increase continued Lionsgate’s recent blitz; shares of the company have gained shot up about 25 percent since early November.

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