LeBron James’ Hollywood ambitions are at a major financial stalemate.
James’ entertainment company SpringHill Co. secured private equity investment to fuel the Los Angeles Lakers star’s growth in film, television, video games, consumer products and events live.
SpringHill Co. announced Thursday it has reached an agreement with a group led by New York-based RedBird Capital Partners to acquire a significant minority stake in the company, known for shows such as “The Shop” on HBO and the recent Warner Bros. movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
Participants in the deal include Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group, clothing brand Nike and maker of “Fortnite” Epic Games. The deal values Los Angeles-based SpringHill at $ 725 million.
Other financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but people familiar with the terms said the RedBird-led group would own nearly half of the company and invest nine-figure capital to grow the business, with potential for more money later. to. James, who is the chairman of the company, and CEO, Maverick Carter, will still have a controlling stake.
Carter, a longtime friend of James from their Akron, Ohio, days who has handled the star’s business relationship for years, said the infusion of capital will allow SpringHill to produce more of its own content, than invest in new intellectual property and acquire other businesses, including production companies.
“We will be able to fund our own projects,” Carter told Zoom. “We’re going to develop our physical industry so that we can finance and control the production of the things that we make. So when we talk about empowering creators, we can really let the creators control it.”
The company plans to surpass $ 100 million in revenue over the next 12 months, according to Carter, up 67% from the past 12 months, when SpringHill generated around $ 60 million in sales.
Last year, Carter and James raised $ 100 million for SpringHill from investors such as Sister, the production company of Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone, and Guggenheim.
The SpringHill deal is the latest large-scale investment in a production company amid a gold rush for content in the entertainment industry. Media companies crave content to create streaming services with new shows and movies.
Hello Sunshine from Reese Witherspoon, the entity behind ‘Big Little Lies’, received a majority investment in August from the company formed by former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs and private equity giant Blackstone, valuing the company to over $ 900 million. Amazon is trying to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, producer of James Bond, for $ 8.45 billion, pending regulatory approval.
“Moonlight” producer A24 and “Dune” studio Legendary Entertainment have all been the subject of recent deal speculation.
SpringHill was a logical solution for RedBird Capital, founded in 2014 by former Goldman Sachs partner Gerry Cardinale, who has known Carter and James for over a decade.
RedBird is heavily invested in sports and entertainment, with a portfolio that includes investments in YES Network, the New York Yankees regional sports network; Skydance Media by David Ellison; and XFL, which she owns with Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson. RedBird is also a shareholder of Fenway Sports Group, which, in addition to the Red Sox, owns Liverpool Football Club and Boston’s Fenway Park. James and Carter became partners at Fenway earlier this year.
SpringHill has been in talks since at least July. Fenway was in talks with SpringHill when he brought Cardinale to the table, Carter said. Cardinale quickly saw the potential to grow SpringHill’s business, and a deal was struck in just a few months.
“The goal is to create a diverse, multi-billion dollar culture and content company, and I think that puts it in a pretty unique position,” said Cardinale, Founder and Managing Partner of RedBird. “It’s not just capital; it’s listening to Maverick and LeBron in terms of what they want to build, where they’ve taken the business from start to today, and then say what the path is. potential. “
The pact is the latest push for SpringHill, which was already one of the best-known of a handful of content companies started by sports stars. Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors co-founded investment and media firm Thirty5 Ventures of Unanimous Media and Kevin Durant of Brooklyn Nets.