Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B Entertainment sells stake to France’s Mediawan

French company financing deal through capital increase with investment from shareholders including KKR, Atwater Capital and Societe Generale

US actor Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment has agreed to sell a stake to Mediawan, the French media conglomerate. AFP
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Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, the company that has produced films such as The Big Short, has agreed to sell a “significant” stake to Mediawan, the French media conglomerate behind the hit series Call My Agent.

Mediawan is financing the deal through a capital increase with investment from shareholders including KKR, Atwater Capital and Societe Generale, the company said in a statement on Saturday. Pitt and his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will also become holders of Mediawan after the transaction. It values Plan B at more than €300 million ($316.25 million), according to a person familiar with the deal.

Investors have been looking to put money into independent production companies to take advantage of the growing demand for original programming. Companies affiliated with a big star such as Pitt have proved especially desirable.

Last year, Reese Witherspoon sold a majority stake in her Hello Sunshine operation to a Blackstone-backed media venture led by Walt Disney Co. veterans in a deal that valued the business at $900 million. A production company created by LeBron James was valued at $725 million in the sale of a minority stake to RedBird Capital Partners, Nike and Epic Games.

Mediawan’s Plan B investment will be made through a new entity, Mediawan US, which will co-ordinate the firm’s development in the country.

Founded in 2015 as a SPAC by French TV producer Pierre-Antoine Capton, telecom billionaire Xavier Niel and Centerview Partners banker Matthieu Pigasse, Mediawan’s businesses include TV, cinema production and content distribution. The deal with Plan B allows the company to expand beyond its core European market.

“As we enter the next chapter in our evolution, we are excited at the possibilities this partnership affords as we maximise our reach towards an increasingly global audience with a broad range of films and television series across all platforms, genres and mediums,” Pitt, Gardner and Kleiner said in the statement.

Pitt founded Plan B in 2001 alongside his then wife Jennifer Aniston and manager Brad Grey. The company has carved out a niche as a producer of award-winning films and has a deal to make TV shows for Amazon.com Inc.

Mediawan US’s board will be chaired by Atwater Capital’s founder and managing partner Vania Schlogel, while Mediawan’s co-founder Capton will act as chief executive.

Talks between Mediawan and Plan B were previously reported by Bloomberg News. The Financial Times reported the deal earlier on Saturday.

Updated: December 11, 2022, 11:05 AM
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