Brad Pitt’s Plan B Explores Options Including Possible Sale
The American production business Plan B Entertainment, Inc., or simply Plan B, was created in November 2001 by Brad Grey, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Aniston. Following Pitt and Aniston’s 2005 divorce, Grey became CEO of Paramount Pictures, and Pitt became the sole owner of the firm.
Dede Gardner was the company’s president for many years, but in 2013, she and Pitt appointed Jeremy Kleiner as co-president. “The Departed,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “Moonlight” are three of the company’s films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Producers Guild of America presented Pitt, Gardner, and Kleiner with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures in 2020.
Andreas Rentz/ Getty Images/ Netflix | Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston founded Plan B Entertainment in 2001
Recently, Plan B produced the “Father of the Bride” adaptation, which became a streaming success on HBO Max, as well as “Blonde,” which debuted on Netflix and is considered an awards possibility for lead actress Ana de Armas.
The potential sale
According to people familiar with the situation, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment is exploring strategic options, including the sale of all or part of the company, following a wave of similar deals involving independent production firms. Moelis & Co., a boutique investment bank, has been retained to explore a deal. There is no guarantee that the talks will lead to a transaction.
Plan B is the latest in a long line of production companies looking to capitalize on Hollywood’s strong appetite for new content, which has been fueled, in part, by a surge in streaming services in recent years. There has been a flurry of deals, particularly involving production companies associated with major celebrities.
Candle Media, a private equity-backed entertainment company, led by former Walt Disney Co. executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, announced last year that it had acquired Hello Sunshine, the production company behind “The Morning Show” on Apple TV+. That transaction was worth around $900 million.
Other sales in the past two years
A growing number of Hollywood studios have sold outright at high valuations or sold minority stakes over the past two years. Candle Media acquired Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine for a reported $900 million, Moonbug Entertainment for $3 billion, and Faraway Road Productions.
Candle also bought a minority stake in Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc The SpringHill Company, a content production group co-founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, sold a minority stake at a $725 million valuation to an investor group led by RedBird Capital Partners. GBO, the production company co-founded by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, sold a minority stake to Tokyo-based video game company Nexon.
Last year, RedBird Capital Partners, a sports media investment firm, led a consortium that acquired a minority stake in NBA superstar LeBron James’ entertainment company, SpringHill Co. Peter Chernin, a veteran entertainment executive, launched North Road, a new entertainment company, in July with the goal of acquiring more content companies.
The streaming industry’s momentum has slowed this year, particularly in the mature US market, with No. 1 player Netflix Inc. reporting subscriber losses in the previous two quarters. Concurrently, mergers and economic pressures are driving cost-cutting efforts at several major entertainment companies. Though content spending is expected to remain strong, the various headwinds in Hollywood may cause valuations for production companies to fall.
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