Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, a film-and-television financier with a deep library of content, is exploring strategic options including taking on a significant investment or selling itself, according to people familiar with the matter.
Vine Alternative Investments, a private equity firm that is the controlling shareholder of Village Roadshow, has tapped investment bank PJT Partners and has held talks with potential suitors, the people said. The company has considered selling outright, some of the people said. One person familiar with the process said Village Roadshow is more likely to take on an investor to grow the business.
The process may not result in a deal.
Primarily known as a co-producer and investor in content, Village Roadshow has worked closely with AT&T Inc.’s Warner Bros. for many years and has ownership stakes in many of the studio’s hit movies and franchises, including “The Joker” and “The Matrix.” As of late, the company has also begun creating more of its own original content, as the emergence of new streaming platforms has led to additional demand for programming.
Village Roadshow Entertainment is the latest film-and-TV company to explore options amid rich valuations for content companies and intellectual property. Imagine Entertainment, the film-and-TV production company co-founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, is in talks to sell a majority stake to investment firm Centricus, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The talks value Imagine, known for hits such as “Apollo 13” and “Cinderella Man,” at $600 million to $800 million.
Candle Media, which is headed by former Walt Disney Co. executives and is backed by Blackstone Inc., has acquired Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Moonbug Entertainment, the company behind the hit children’s show “CoComelon.”
Among bigger players, last year Amazon.com Inc. struck a $6.5 billion deal to acquire the iconic Hollywood studio MGM and use its content for its Prime Video streaming platform.
Founded in 2006, Vine has committed more than $1 billion to investments in the media sector. In addition to having ownership in around 100 Warner Bros. movies, Vine has in recent years been aggressive in acquiring libraries. In 2019 Vine acquired Lakeshore Entertainment, whose library of more than 300 titles includes “Runaway Bride” and “The Lincoln Lawyer.”
Vine acquired a controlling stake in Village Roadshow in 2017 and has expanded the company from a business model revolving around co-financing and co-production to development and ownership of its own intellectual property.
Write to Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com and Joe Flint at email@example.com
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