Brad Pitt’s plan B is announced during negotiations with Mediawan in France
(Bloomberg) – Actor Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, the production company behind movies like Moonlight and The Big Short, is in talks to sell a major stake to French media conglomerate Mediawan, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
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The company has received offers from a few potential investors, the sources said, who asked not to be identified in private negotiations. Mediawan, which was backed by KKR & Co., is the favorite. Plan B should make a final decision in the coming weeks. The talks could still fail and another bidder could still win.
Spokespersons for Plan B and Mediawan declined to comment.
Investors have sought to invest in independent production companies to take advantage of the growing demand for original shows. Businesses affiliated with a big star – like Pitt – have proven particularly desirable. Pitt founded Plan B in 2001 alongside his wife Jennifer Aniston and manager Brad Gray. The company, run day-to-day by Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, has carved out a niche as an award-winning film producer and landed a deal to make TV shows for Amazon.com Inc.
Last year, Reese Witherspoon sold a majority stake in his Hello Sunshine operation to a Blackstone-backed media company run by Walt Disney Co. veterans in a deal valuing the company at $900 million. . A production company created by LeBron James has been valued at $725 million in the sale of a minority stake to RedBird Capital Partners, Nike Inc. and Epic Games Inc.
Mediawan’s businesses range from television production to film production and content distribution. It was founded in 2015 as SPAC by French TV producer Pierre-Antoine Capton, telecom billionaire Xavier Niel and Centerview Partners banker Matthieu Pigasse.
A deal would give the Paris-based company a footprint in the United States with producers supplying programming to HBO, Amazon Studios and Netflix Inc., among others. Plan B projects this year include the HBO Max movie Father of the Bride and the biopic Marilyn Monroe Blonde on Netflix.
Mediawan grew through acquisitions in Europe and was taken private by its founders in December 2020, along with investors such as KKR. The transaction was valued at 657.6 million euros, including 274.5 million euros in net debt.
The company has an annual turnover of approximately 1 billion euros (1 billion dollars).
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