NeuLion Agrees To Be Acquired By Endeavor In $250M, All-Cash Deal
NeuLion has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Endeavor in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $250M. Upon completion of the transaction, NeuLion will become a privately held subsidiary of Endeavor. The transaction is expected to close in Q2. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as Endeavor’s legal counsel, while The Raine Group acted as financial advisor to Endeavor. NeuLion’s legal advisor is Loeb & Loeb LLP, and its financial advisor is Needham & Co. (NeuLion). BNN.ca's Ian Vandaelle notes NeuLion has "faced a number of headwinds in recent years, notably pressure on revenue from the loss" of the NHL as a digital media partner. The NHL "dropped NeuLion in favor of a digital rights partnership" with MLBAM spanning six years. NeuLion’s "total revenue in the most recent quarter" fell 8% from a year ago. The outright sale of the entire company "comes three months after NeuLion announced it was selling some non-core assets to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group" for $41.5M (BNN.ca, 3/26). Octagon Media Rights Consulting Senior VP Daniel Cohen tweeted this deal will make it so that UFC, PBR and Fashion Week, along with Endeavor's other properties, will "get a direct-to-consumer overhaul." He added UFC's "Fight Pass" is "already" at more than 400,000 subscribers and UFC is "currently seeking [a] hefty" media-rights fee increase (TWITTER.com, 3/26). At presstime, NeuLion shares were trading at $1.06, up 112% from the close of business on Friday (THE DAILY).