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(Reuters) - Cable network operator AMC Networks Inc was in preliminary talks to buy billionaire John Malone's premium TV cable network Starz, Bloomberg reported.
Starz's shares rose 8 percent to $41.89 in extended trading. The company had a market value of about $4 billion as of Tuesday close.
AMC's spokeswoman Georgia Juvelis said the company does not comment on rumors. A Starz spokesperson also said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.
There have been media reports since 2014 that Starz was in talks to be bought out. Other potential acquirers included Twenty-First Century Fox and CBS Corp.
Starz ended talks for a buyout last year with potential buyers, including AMC, due to differences over valuation, Bloomberg reported in December.
Malone is the largest individual investor in Starz, which makes TV shows such as "Outlander" and "Da Vinci's Demons". The company was spun off from Malone's Liberty Media Corp.
Shares of AMC, known for shows such as "The Walking Dead", were slightly up at $74.44 in extended trading after closing 2.4 percent higher in regular trade.
Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila