RLJ Entertainment, the entertainment content distribution company founded by Robert L. Johnson, which owns and operates Acorn TV, the premier streaming service for British mystery and drama, and Urban Movie Channel, the first urban-focused subscription streaming service, has formed a strategic partnership with AMC Networks, the company behind several of the most recognized brands and shows in entertainment, including AMC, BBC AMERICA, WE TV, SundanceTV, AMC Networks International, IFC, and IFC Films.
The partnership builds on each company’s long track-record of successfully developing high-quality content for targeted audiences and capitalizing on new technology and changing viewing habits to make that content available to consumers.
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.
Of the new partnership and investment, Johnson said, “I am both delighted and excited that RLJ Entertainment is joining with the AMC Networks family 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.”
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