Lionsgate Acquires Bulk of Weinstein Film Library in Spyglass Deal

Lionsgate Spyglass
Courtesy of Lionsgate/Spyglass Media Group

The afterlife of the Weinstein Co. continues.

On Thursday, Spyglass Media — which acquired the Weinstein Co.’s film and TV library in a bankruptcy auction three years ago — announced that it had sold the bulk of the feature film library to Lionsgate Entertainment.

The sale is part of a broader partnership, under which Lionsgate takes a 20% equity stake in Spyglass, and Spyglass gets a first-look TV deal with Lionsgate. The financial terms were not disclosed.

The sale includes three Quentin Tarantino films — “Django Unchained,” “Inglourious Basterds” and “The Hateful Eight” — as well as several other critically acclaimed Weinstein productions, including “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Kings Speech” and “Fruitvale Station.”

Lionsgate gets to pad its library of 17,000 titles. In exchange, Spyglass gets some operating capital to focus on developing new projects. Gary Barber, who came on board as Spyglass’ CEO two years ago, remains in his role.

Lantern Capital Group, the Dallas-based private equity firm that bought the Weinstein library for $289 million in 2018, remains the majority owner of Spyglass. The other minority investors are Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Eagle Pictures, and Cineworld Group.

Spyglass will keep about 70 titles, including “Project Runway,” “The Upside,” and the forthcoming installment of the “Scream” franchise.

“This agreement continues to grow our valuable portfolio of IP while partnering us with Gary Barber, one of the leading entrepreneurs and content creators in the business,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. “It is a win/win deal that creates significant incremental value for both companies while continuing to add to our global content distribution platform at a time when the demand for premium content is greater than ever.”

Lionsgate has long been the subject of sale rumors. Amazon’s recent acquisition of MGM for almost $9 billion has raised expectations about what price Lionsgate, or other smaller studios, would fetch on the open market.

In a statement, Barber said he was “grateful for the steadfast support from our strategic investors and am thrilled to align with Jon Feltheimer, Michael Burns and all our partners at Lionsgate as we look forward to expanding our relationship in creating great content and exploring strategic opportunities together in the marketplace.”

Andy Mitchell, founder and CEO of Lantern, also issued a statement on behalf of himself and the minority investors: “Two years ago, we were excited to team up with Gary and have him do what he does best — build Spyglass Media Group into a global premium content company and, in short order, increase shareholder value. Once again, he successfully exceeded those challenges, and we are delighted to continue the journey with him.”