AMC to Buy Liberty Global's Chellomedia for $1B

AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) agreed Monday to pay about $1 billion for nearly all of Liberty Global’s (NASDAQ:LBTYA) international content division Chellomedia, as the cable network operator looks to distribute its original content to a wider audience.

Chellomedia holds television channels that are distributed to 390 million households in 138 countries. AMC will get assets such as Chello Central Europe and Chello Latin America, as well as stakes in joint ventures with CBS International, A&E Networks and other partners.

All of Chellomedia’s assets being acquired by AMC generated about $451 million in revenue during the 12 months ended June 30.

Liberty Global is holding onto premium Dutch channels Film1 and Sport1.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter and has an enterprise value of €750 million, or $1.03 billion.

Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, said the sale “simplifies our business and allows us to focus on our core markets and more strategic programming opportunities.”

Liberty Global, led by John Malone, has been actively making deals to expand its global footprint. One of its acquisitions this year was a $14.1 billion deal in June to buy U.K. cable and Internet provider Virgin Media.

The purchase of Chellomedia will add to AMC’s international business, with CEO Josh Sapan saying the deal will give AMC a wider global distribution for its original programming. AMC, which was spun off from Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) in 2011, has found success with original shows like “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.”