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Verizon to buy stake in AwesomenessTV, launch short-form mobile video service

VerizonCommunications Inc. struck a deal to buy about 24.5% stake inAwesomenessTV.

Upon completion of this transaction, the AwesomenessTV multi-platformmedia company will be valued at about $650 million, Verizon said April 6.DreamWorks Animation SKGInc., which acquired AwesomenessTV in 2013, will remain thecompany's majority stakeholder with a nearly 51% ownership of outstandingshares, while HearstCorp. will own the remaining 24.5%. The transaction, which issubject to customary closing conditions, is currently expected to close within thenext 60 days.

Also, Verizon struck a deal with AwesomenessTV to create apremium short-form mobile video service, which will operate as a new andindependent brand, and feature premium transactional content for a variety ofaudiences. The new service will launch as part of the go90 offering and Verizonwill fund the initiative through a multiyear agreement with AwesomenessTV.

The new premium content service will initially be exclusiveto Verizon platforms in the U.S., while AwesomenessTV will retain the right tosell content in the rest of the world.

Brian Robbins, AwesomenessTV founder and CEO, and BrettBouttier, AwesomenessTV's president, will continue to lead the company.

LionTree Advisors LLC acted as adviser to Verizon duringthis transaction and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC advised DreamWorks Animation.