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AMC ‘in talks’ to buy Starz

Fear the Walking DeadAMC is in talks to buy Starz, according to the Bloomberg wire service, citing people familiar with the matter.

Discussions are underway Bloomberg said, but at an early stage.

AMC runs a stable of basic cable channels including the core AMC offering, which is hot off the back of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead and now has ratings smash Fear the Walking Dead (pictured).

Starz is in the premium space and investing heavily in original drama including Power (below) and the upcoming Ash vs the Evil Dead.

Both companies are listed in the US. There was a small increase in AMC’s share price, which was up 2.5% in the wake of the news, while Starz registered a much bigger uptick, with its stock price up over 10% in after hours trading.

Power1AMC is pushing aggressively into international markets while Starz is largely a US operation at the moment, aside from its recently launched international OTT service.

Heavyweight cable investor John Malone is Starz’ single biggest shareholder and it was previously part of his Liberty business before being spun-off. Bloomberg says the cable channel business is valued at over US$5 billion.

It has been at the centre of takeover speculation for some time, with earlier reports suggesting Lionsgate and Fox has looked at the business.

AMC Networks said it did not comment on speculation.

Tags: AMC, Starz