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NeuLion to be acquired by Beverly Hills company for $250 million

NeuLion, based in Plainview, announced its cash agreement

NeuLion, based in Plainview, announced its cash agreement with Endeavor of Beverly Hills on Monday. Credit: Heather Walsh

Plainview-based NeuLion Inc., a provider of digital video broadcasts of sporting and entertainment events, including last year's Mayweather-McGregor pay-per-view boxing fight, announced Monday it has agreed to be acquired for $250 million in an all-cash deal by a Beverly Hills entertainment company.

The deal calls for Endeavor, a closely held company whose roots stretch back to the William Morris talent agency, to pay 84 cents for each share of NeuLion. Shares of NeuLion climbed almost 109 percent to close Monday at 82 cents.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, making NeuLion a privately held subsidiary of Endeavor.

NeuLion was founded in 2004 by a group of former executives at Computer Associates International, the software company formerly based in Islandia.

Chris Wagner, NeuLion's executive vice president and a co-founder, said the company, with about 120 employees on Long Island and 550 overall, would continue operating with Plainview as its headquarters.

"The name NeuLion remains, the people remain," he said.

Endeavor chief executive Ariel Emanuel said in a statement that NeuLion would help the company distribute and sell content. 

“NeuLion provides an ideal combination of technology and client services," he said.

The transaction was approved by NeuLion's board and holders of most of NeuLion's outstanding common stock, the companies said.

Charles Wang, co-founder of Computer Associates and a NeuLion director, and his wife, Nancy Li, NeuLion's executive chair,  together directly own about 20 percent of NeuLion, according to Dec. 20 government filings compiled by Bloomberg.

NeuLion provides streaming digital video services for the NFL, NBA and World Surf League, Univision, Sky Sports and other owners of programming content.

Viewers of the pay-per-view Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in August suffered outages, forcing bout sponsor UFC and video providers, including NeuLion and Showtime, to offer refunds.

Endeavor specializes in talent representation and brand marketing. It owns a wide range of sports and entertainment properties, ranging from the UFC to the Miss Universe Organization to Professional Bull Riders Inc.

"We become the digital platform for their portfolio of assets," Wagner said.  "Endeavor owns a pretty significant amount of content rights that can be powered direct to the consumer."

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