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Chicken Soup for the Soul grows AVoD ambitions with $375m Redbox acquisition

Publicly traded US media company Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE) is expanding its AVoD business with the acquisition of ad-supported streamer and movie rental service Redbox Entertainment.

William J Rouhana Jr

The all-stock transaction, which is expected to close in the summer and has already been approved by both boards of directors, is valued at around US$375m and includes assumption of US$325m of debt carried by Redbox and US$50m in CSSE stock.

CSSE stockholders will own about 76.5% of the combined company after the transaction closes, with Redbox stockholders owning the remaining 23.5%.

The deal comes less than a year after 20-year-old Redbox, which is best known as a DVD dispensing company with around 38,000 kiosks across the US, went public through a deal with special-purpose acquisitions company Seaport Global.

With the acquisition, Redbox will join other brands under the CSSE umbrella including Screen Media and AVoD platforms Crackle and Popcornflix.

Redbox says it has 40 million customers in its loyalty programme and carries more than 130 digital free ad-supported TV channels on its Free Live TV platform. Following the completion of the deal, Redbox will move under CSSE, which will continue to trade on the NASDAQ.

The companies said the deal will create the opportunity to “leverage tech and know-how to fully capitalise on Redbox’s AVoD opportunity” and allow for the distribution of Screen Media titles via Redbox kiosks.

“Today marks a transformative moment for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and an inflection point for the ad-supported streaming industry. Our acquisition of Redbox will accelerate the scaling of our business as it combines complementary teams and services to create the streaming industry’s premier independent AVoD,” said William J Rouhana Jr, chairman and CEO of CSSE.

“Together, we will build a fully developed AVoD and FAST streaming business: proven branded streaming services, formidable content and production capabilities, and a strong AVoD and FAST ad sales operation.”


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