RedBird Capital Partners and CJ Entertainment and Merchandising (CJ ENM) have made a $275 million investment in Skydance Media, the studio responsible for the Oscar-winning film Parasite.
A Skydance statement said: “Partnering with RedBird and CJ ENM (and its production subsidiary Studio Dragon) will serve to further expand the company’s global reach across its film, television, animation and interactive platforms.”
Skydance’s current investor base, including the Ellison family and Tencent Holdings, also participated in the investment round.
Skydance Media was founded by CEO David Ellison in 2010.
Law firm Paul Hastings advised Seoul-headquartered CJ ENM on the deal. The Paul Hastings team was led by corporate partners Daniel Kim and Stephen Saltzman, and associates Stuart Downey, Albert Nah and Tashiana Hudson from its Century City, London and Seoul offices. Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor to Skydance.
Gerry Cardinale (pictured), founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital Partners, said: “Under David Ellison’s leadership and strategic vision, Skydance has established a diversified content creation platform that prioritizes world class production and original content generation with financial discipline and a focus on building equity value for the long term. We look forward to working with CJ ENM, Tencent and the Ellison family to help Skydance reach its tremendous potential.”
Ellison said: “We are honored to partner with RedBird Capital and CJ ENM. These are sophisticated strategic partners who believe in our creative vision and our ambitious strategy to build the studio of the future.”
Skydance has produced films that have generated more than $5.8 billion at the box office worldwide. This year, the studio has five feature films scheduled to premiere, including: Top Gun: Maverick; The Old Guard; Without Remorse; Snake Eyes; and The Tomorrow War. It will also begin production on the seventh and eighth installments in the immensely popular Mission: Impossible film series.
Skydance’s television output includes six series across various networks, platforms and ‘streamers’, including Grace and Frankie; Altered Carbon; Condor; Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan; Foundation and Jack Reacher. Meanwhile, Skydance’s Interactive division recently released The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, based on the graphic novel series.
RedBird Capital Partners is an investment firm that provides “flexible, longterm capital to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses”. It targets investment opportunities in growth-oriented private companies where its “long-term capital, investor network and strategic relationships enable business owners to achieve their corporate objectives”. RedBird has more than $3 billion of equity under management.