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Mar 26, 2018

NeuLion shares surge as Endeavor buys it for US$250M

NeuLion agrees to takeover by Endeavor at 115% premium

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Shares of NeuLion (NLN.TO) rose more than 100 per cent in early trading Monday, after the digital video broadcaster announced it has reached a deal to sell itself to Endeavor for US$250 million in cash.

The deal, which has the unanimous support of NeuLion’s board, is subject to regulatory approval, but is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, the companies said in a release.

“We’re excited by the value delivered to our stockholders through this transaction, and we’re looking forward to the dynamic opportunities that being part of the Endeavor family will provide for both our current and new clients,” NeuLion Chief Executive Officer Roy Reichbach said in a news release.

Endeavor, a sports and entertainment agency, was formerly named IMG and is led by co-CEO Ariel Emanuel – the man who inspired the brash talent agent Ari Gold in the TV show Entourage.

NeuLion has faced a number of headwinds in recent years, notably pressure on revenue from the loss of National Hockey League as a digital media partner. The NHL dropped NeuLion in favour of a digital rights partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media spanning six years. NeuLion’s total revenue in the most recent quarter fell 8 per cent 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 US$41.5 million.