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Lionsgate Stock Rises on Speculation of Amazon Takeover

Shares of Lionsgate have jumped 7.6% on speculation about a possible takeover by Amazon.

The stock closed up $1.72 on Friday at $24.40 on the New York Stock Exchange, following a 78-cent increase on Thursday.

The gain has been fueled by an interview John Kornitzer, the fourth-largest holder of Class A shares in Lionsgate, gave to Bloomberg News, in which he expressed optimism that the company’s partnership with Amazon could lead to a possible takeover of the studio.

The companies announced in May that Lionsgate was teaming with Amazon to expand its Starz network in Europe through its Starzplay channels in Germany and the U.K. Kornitzer also said a company like Verizon Communications Inc. could make a takeover bid for Lionsgate, which has lost about a third of its value this year.

Shares have also been boosted this week thanks to vice chairman Michael Burns reporting in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that he had acquired 50,000 shares on Sept. 25 at an average price of $20.43 per share with a total value of $1.02 million. That’s seen as a sign that management has faith in Lionsgate’s long-term outlook.

Burns had asserted on Sept. 13 that the studio will continue to look for acquisitions following its purchase of 3 Arts Entertainment in the spring. Lionsgate, which has revenues of about $4 billion a year, has been the subject of buyout rumors this year as the entertainment sector consolidates. Burns offered a vague outlook on that front.

“We’re predator — until we’re prey,” he said. “We do believe that we need to be bigger. We really are a predator for the moment, or maybe we will turn to prey or maybe we will continue to gobble up companies. No one has a crystal ball.”

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