A Drive in Hollywood’s Non-public-Fairness Growth Provides a Spanish-Language Firm

Candle Media, the private-equity-backed firm that has invested in companies based by Hollywood stars corresponding to Reese Witherspoon, has settled on its newest goal: Exile Content material Studio, a producer of Spanish-language movies, TV exhibits and podcasts.

Candle Media, which is run by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, former senior executives on the Walt Disney Firm, stated on Monday that it was buying Exile in a cash-and-stock deal. Exile’s administration group, which incorporates its founder and chief govt, Isaac Lee, will be part of Candle Media.

Executives from Candle Media and Exile declined to reveal the worth of the deal. The mixed worth of Candle Media’s offers, that are bankrolled by the personal fairness agency Blackstone, thus far whole round $4 billion, in accordance with an individual with data of the enterprise who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of he was not approved to debate the deal .

In an interview, Mr. Staggs stated he and Mr. Mayer had zeroed in on Exile as a result of the corporate would assist Candle Media attain the rising viewers of Spanish audio system, which he stated numbered greater than 550 million globally. He stated the corporate’s breadth of content material — throughout streaming, conventional tv, podcasts and music — which was additionally a promoting level.

“We expect it might open up new alternatives for us with creators that we would not in any other case attain,” Mr. Staggs stated.

Based in 2019, Exile produces TV exhibits and movies with streaming companies and TV networks. Its productions embody a scripted sequence for Netflix with Diego Luna, a “Rogue One” star, as a showrunner; the kids’s present “Membership Mundo Children” for Amazon Prime; and a docuseries on the Spanish soccer group Actual Madrid for HBO.

In an interview, Mr. Lee stated he had already begun working with Moonbug Leisure, the Candle Media firm that owns the favored kids’s TV present “CoComelon,” to vet concepts for exhibits he deliberate to introduce. Exile can be working with Hey Sunshine, the media firm based by Ms. Witherspoon and bought by Candle Media, on an as-yet-unannounced mission.

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Could 23, 2022, 7:48 pm ET

“Integrations basically are very cumbersome and tough,” Mr. Lee stated. “On this case, they’re natural, pure, and so they work extremely nicely.”

Candle Media and Exile started speaking a couple of deal final fall. In November, they reached an settlement on the broad strokes of a buyout, however it did not come to fruition for a number of months as a result of Candle Media was busy scouting and executing different offers.

Candle Media is essentially the most distinguished participant within the private-equity increase that has swept Hollywood in current months as traders search to money in on the rising demand for streaming content material. Mr. Mayer and Mr. Staggs are betting that mental property — the premise for main film franchises, TV exhibits and books — will develop into solely extra beneficial as audiences shift to streaming video and help creators by buying merchandise and digital items together with NFTs, or nonfungible tokens

Candle Media might promote or go public in a matter of years. Non-public fairness companies often search to recoup their investments over a interval of a number of years, both via a public providing or by promoting to a different firm in the identical sector.

Along with its buying Moonbug and Hey Sunshine, Candle Media has bought a stake in Westbrook, an organization based by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. It has additionally acquired ATTN:, a media firm that produces short-form leisure and information content material.

The deal is a reunion of types for Mr. Mayer and Mr. Lee, who in 2013 — when Mr. Mayer was at Disney and Mr. Lee was an govt at Univision — collectively launched a cable channel known as Fusion geared toward English-speaking Latinos . The channel was a part of an formidable however ill-fated technique orchestrated by Mr. Lee to offer Univision a foothold amongst youthful audiences.

“The one brilliant gentle there was attending to know him and dealing with him and understanding his philosophy,” Mr. Mayer stated.

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