According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said Monday it will to buy fellow independent film producer and distributor Artisan Entertainment in a long-rumored deal that sent its stock soaring. Vancouver, British Columbia-based Lions Gate, which is run largely from Los Angeles, said it would pay $160 million in cash and assume New York-based Artisan's debt. The companies said the deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2003, and the owners of closely held Artisan may receive additional cash based on the performance of certain films.