A24 Names NBA’s J.B. Lockhart as Chief Financial Officer

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Indie film and TV studio A24 has named its first ever chief financial officer in J.B. Lockhart.

The heavyweight finance executive comes from a four-year stint at the National Basketball Association. The hire follows on the heels of Variety‘s July report that the prestige art house behind “Spring Breakers” and “Zola” was exploring numerous consolidation options. In some scenarios, including combinations with other existing content houses and some outright acquisitions, the company was eyeing a valuation up to $3 billion.

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In his new role, Lockhart will be tasked with leading the company’s continued global expansion, Insiders familiar with the company said. Industry observers suggested the addition of Lockhart means A24 will seek to grow from within, rather than sell off at a dramatic premium.

Lockhart joined the NBA in 2013 and was named CFO in 2017. While at the NBA he led strategic planning and oversaw all financial matters for the NBA and its affiliated businesses, including the WNBA, NBA G League, Basketball Africa League and NBA 2K League, the NBA’s esports league. He is credited with leading the NBA to significant investment in the digital space.

Prior to the NBA, Lockhart worked in venture capital, media and technology investment banking. He previously worked at the Walt Disney Company’s Strategic Planning Group focusing on business development and M&A initiatives.

Founded in 2012, A24 has become an Oscar winning studio and perpetual Hollywood cool kid thanks to its collective of filmmakers and high-brow marketing conceits. This year A24 is financing and producing 14 television series and 17 feature films.

A24 had been exploring sale or merger options for nearly 18 months, Variety reported in July, a process that was made all the more feverish thanks to a contemporary media landscape ride with consolidation. Earlier this year, Amazon set a deal to acquire MGM for $8.6 billion. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine now boasts an over $900 million valuation thanks to a stake stale to Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ new venture backed by Blackstone Group.

The news was first reported by The New York Times.

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