RLJ Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:RLJE) investors are overwhelmingly excited today after the British TV production company and UMC (Urban Movie Channel) has formed a strategic partnership with AMC Networks. As part of the agreement, AMC Networks has invested $65 million in the form of loans to RLJ Entertainment to refinance the company’s existing senior credit facility, add working capital, reduce the cost of capital through lower interest rates, and provide revised covenants that will allow for increased operational flexibility. In addition, AMC Networks has received warrants which, if exercised, would provide AMC Networks with at least 50.1% of the outstanding RLJ Entertainment common stock on a fully diluted basis.
RLJ Entertainment shares reacted to the news, surging nearly 17% in Monday’s trading session.
Commenting on the new partnership and investment by AMC Networks, Mr. Johnson stated, “I am both delighted and excited that RLJ Entertainment is joining with the AMC Networksfamily to help capitalize on the opportunities that exist to provide consumers with more diverse content across multiple platforms. RLJ Entertainment has a leading position, through Acorn TV with British television programming, and through UMC with quality urban-focused content, and independent films that we will be able to further develop and grow with the capital and support of AMC Networks.”
Johnson continued: “Josh Sapan, who I am proud to call a friend and whom I’ve known for more than 20 years, is a visionary CEO and an absolute advocate for producing and delivering to audiences of all interests the best in quality and award-winning entertainment. As founder of RLJ Entertainment, I look forward to the future of this new chapter in our business and entering into a relationship with one of the most dynamic and creative content companies in the entertainment industry.”
“We have deep respect for Bob Johnson and the many businesses he’s built, from BET to Acorn TV and UMC” said Josh Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks. “Bob is a talented entrepreneur with a real understanding of the power of strong brands and a proven ability to identify and provide premium content to a wide range of audiences by tapping into the demand for content that uniquely fits their specific consumer interests. Much like the early days of cable, and AMC Networks’ own history of providing quality programming to targeted audiences,RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn TV and UMC appeal to consumers with quality programming that represents diverse voices. Our investment is a strategic opportunity to provide capital and additional resources to RLJ Entertainment as they continue to explore their many opportunities for growth, and while we consider the many potentially powerful synergies with our innovative partners at the BBC, and our own WE tv network.”
The RLJ Entertainment board of directors unanimously approved the transaction and the transaction was closed after receiving the approval of RLJ Entertainment stockholders on October 14, 2016. (Original Source)
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. engages in the distribution and licensing of entertainment content. It also operates channels under the Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel brands. The company was founded on April 2, 2012 and is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD.