Starz announces layoffs and market exits ahead of 2024 separation from Lionsgate

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Starz announces layoffs and market exits ahead of 2024 separation from Lionsgate © Reuters.

Jeffrey Hirsch, CEO of Starz, announced a significant organizational restructure involving over 10% of the company’s workforce being laid off and the withdrawal from the UK and Australian markets. This move comes as Starz prepares for its separation from parent company Lionsgate in 2024, a process that has been delayed due to U.S. strikes and the ongoing finalization of Lionsgate’s Entertainment One acquisition.

The restructuring follows a period of streamlining for Lionsgate, which has witnessed roughly 150 layoffs over the past six months. As part of its strategic realignment, Lionsgate also exited the Latin American market, shut down its Lionsgate+ streaming service (formerly known as StarzPlay), and halted all development in the region following a partial sale of its interest in MENA-based streamer StarzPlay Arabia.

In addition to these changes, Starz is set to become a standalone company focusing on cable and streaming operations while Lionsgate’s film and TV studio will be spun off into a separate entity. Both companies will be publicly traded post-separation.

It was reported that these layoffs at Starz aim to align the company with growth sectors and prepare it for independent operation. The network and streaming service is also reducing overhead costs by canceling four series: Heels, Run the World, Blindspotting, and The Venery of Samantha Bird. This is part of an effort by Lionsgate to boost Starz’s attractiveness to potential buyers.

Lionsgate had initially planned to spin off Starz in May 2022 to increase value but had to postpone due to the $500 million acquisition of Hasbro’s Entertainment One and Hollywood Guild strikes. The divestment is now scheduled for 2024.

Despite these challenges, Starz ended last quarter with 12 million domestic streaming subscribers and about 20 million total customers, with popular series such as Black Mafia Family and P-Valley. Amid these changes, Lionsgate shares rose by 7%, and the company is set to report its third-quarter earnings soon.

InvestingPro Insights

As Starz and Lionsgate undergo significant changes, it’s crucial to keep an eye on key financial indicators. According to InvestingPro, Lionsgate operates with a significant debt burden and has seen a declining trend in earnings per share. Yet, the company has also experienced accelerating revenue growth and significant returns over the last week.

The data from InvestingPro also paints a detailed picture. With an adjusted market cap of $2090.0M USD and revenue of $3869.5M USD over the last twelve months as of Q1 2024, Lionsgate is a sizable player in the industry. Despite a negative P/E ratio, the company has seen a 7.58% growth in revenue over the same period.

InvestingPro Tips suggest that potential investors should be aware of Lionsgate’s high EBIT valuation multiple and the fact that it has not been profitable over the last twelve months. However, analysts predict the company will turn profitable this year, which could be a positive sign for those considering investing.

For a deeper understanding of this company and more valuable tips, consider exploring the InvestingPro platform, where you can find over 13 additional tips related to Lionsgate’s financial performance.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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