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Twilight Summit

Not all joy as Lions Gate looks set to swallow 'Twilight' firm

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 8, 2012 | 2 min read

In a deal that brings together two of the largest film companies in the young adult market, Vancouver-based Lions Gate is reported to be close to an agreement to acquire Summit Entertainment of California.

Twilight: succesful franchise

The deal will bring together production of two high-profile franchises. Summit is finishing the last of the four "Twilight" movies for release this year. Lions Gate is adapting for the screen "The Hunger Games," the best-selling books by Suzanne Collins .

Lions Gate is expected to pay about $400 million for Summit's equity, says the Wall Street Journal quoting insiders.The two studios have been in serious talks for more than a month and have explored a merger at several points over the past few years.

The merger could help Lions Gate reshape itself after a string of unsuccessful films and a feud with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who ultimately agreed to sell his shares in August for about what he paid for them.

But not everyone loves the deal. Deadline.com which broke the story says it is "very bad news for Hollywood" because behind the scenes, LionsGate has "no interest in continuing to let Summit make movies."

Editor Nikki Finke says, "What a shame for Summit that’s had so much success. It’s hard to believe it ended up a takeover target since it was sitting on so much cash that it had hired an investment bank to help it expand by acquiring other companies and even getting into television."

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