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Lions Gate focusing on spinning off studio business over Starz

Sept 28 (Reuters) - Lions Gate Entertainment Corp said on Wednesday it was focusing on spinning off its studio business first, even as it explores alternative options for its cable and streaming division, Starz.

The company's film and TV studios have an extensive library, with hits such as "Hunger Games, "The Expendables" and "Mad Men".

Lions Gate said in November last year that it was exploring alternatives for Starz, the television network it bought for $4.4 billion in 2016.

"Despite the volatile market environment, we remain on a path to separating our STARZ and studio businesses," the company said in a regulatory filing.

"As negotiations progress, we have increased our focus on the possibility of spinning our studio business, creating a number of financial and strategic benefits."

Lionsgate also announced it would rebrand its international streaming service, Starzplay, to Lionsgate+ in 35 countries.

The service competes with Netflix and Walt Disney Co's Disney+. (Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)