AMC Networks to acquire RJL Entertainment and its streaming properties for $65 million
AMC Networks announced today that it is purchasing Robert L. Johnson’s RJL Entertainment for $65 million. RJL is an over-the-top streaming company that owns both Acorn TV, a subscription-based streaming service focused on British content, and Urban Movie Channel (UMC), a streaming service focused on content aimed at African American and Urban Audiences. Combined, the two services reach 800,000 subscribers, an Increase of 45% from a Year Ago, RJL.
AMC Networks will pay, in cash, an aggregate of approximately $65 million to holders of RLJ Entertainment’s outstanding common stock, preferred stock and warrants not currently owned by AMC Networks, Johnson, or their respective affiliates. Upon completion of the merger, RLJ Entertainment will become an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks, with Johnson and his affiliates owning a stake of 17%.
“Bob Johnson is a legend for good reasons that we are the beneficiaries of. His management team is extraordinary, having successfully transitioned Acorn TV from a home video and DVD business to a leading direct-to-consumer subscription service, and growing both Acorn TV and UMC in a competitive environment, by offering excellent, sought-after content and creating strong brands,” Josh Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks said. “In addition, RLJ Entertainment’s majority stake in the Agatha Christie library—a content brand which remains one of the most popular and venerable—provides AMC Networks with valuable IP opportunities.”
Sapan boasted that the new deal furthers AMC Networks’ digital strategy by accelerating its interests in direct-to-consumer ad-free subscription services that it owns and controls and, in turn, placing AMC Networks in a stronger position over the long term.