AMC Networks has announced they are proposing to purchase all of RLJ Entertainment, the streaming-oriented company from BET founder Robert L. Johnson.
RLJ consists of two streaming services, Acorn TV, which features British television and film, and Urban Movie Channel (UMC).
Last year, AMC invested $65 million in RLJ for a 26 percent stake in the company, with AMC given the option to purchase majority ownership, as they will now acquire the 27 percent of shares that they do not already own. Johnson will still have a minority stake, currently owning 47 percent of the outstanding shares
AMC says it would operate RLJ as a privately-owned subsidiary and “has no interest in disposing of its stake in RLJ Entertainment or participating in any other strategic process.”
This acquisition would further put AMC in digital/streaming content, as is acquired a stake in Funny or Die, operates SundanceNow and recently began AMC Premiere.
The deal, which is not final, would require approval from RLJ’s board.
RLJ also owns 64 percent of Agatha Christie Ltd., which manages the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie’s works around the world.