Redbox Parent Outerwall to Go Private in $1.6 Billion Deal

Outerwall, whose largest business unit is DVD-rental kiosk operator Redbox, has agreed to sell the company to private-equity group Apollo Global Management in an all-cash deal worth $1.6 billion.

Under the deal, which had been pushed for by activist investors, Apollo will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Outerwall common stock for $52 per share in cash. That’s a 51% premium over the company’s closing stock price on March 14, when the board announced plans to explore strategic options including a sale.

The deal was unanimously approved by Outerwall’s board of directors.

“We are pleased to reach this agreement, which follows a robust process and provides an immediate and substantial cash premium to our shareholders,” Outerwall CEO Erik Prusch said in a statement. “Apollo is an ideal partner to support Outerwall’s efforts to continue serving our millions of loyal customers and dedicated retail partners through our unrivaled network of kiosks and automated retail offerings.”

Redbox has seen its rental volume and revenue steadily decline over the last few years, as its DVD-based model has been pressured by the rise of video-streaming services like Netflix. Outerwall has quietly launched a test of a new streaming service, dubbed Redbox Digital, offering select movie titles on digital devices on a transactional basis, as Variety reported last week.

For the first quarter of 2016, Redbox posted revenue of $421.5 million, down 18.9% from the year prior, as DVD rentals fell to 137.7 million for the period (versus 173 million rentals in the first quarter of 2015). Redbox segment operating income in Q1 2016 was $84.2 million, a decrease 31.4%. As of March 31, 2016, the company had 40,210 kiosks in operation (after removing 1,750 from service over the past year) at 32,920 locations.

In addition to the DVD business, the company operates 20,850 Coinstar coin-counting kiosks and 2,540 ecoATM electronics recycling kiosks at retail locations primarily in the U.S.

“Outerwall is a dynamic customer-focused business that delivers superior kiosk experiences that delight consumers and generate value for its retailer partners,” Apollo partner David Sambur said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Outerwall’s talented and dedicated team to continue the business’s strong heritage of growth and innovation.”

Outerwall is scheduled to report second-quarter 2016 earnings after market close on Thursday, July 28. The company said the board declared a quarterly dividend of 60 cents per share of common stock, to be paid on Sept. 6, 2016.

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