The company, which produces the popular “Red Table Talk” on Facebook Watch and backed the inspirational drama “King Richard,” was previously in talks to sell, until that deal collapsed in October. Mayer and Staggs are being financed by private-equity giant Blackstone Group. Last year, the venture made headlines when it purchased Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine in a deal valued at $900 million and followed that up with a $3 billion deal for Moonbug Entertainment, the children’s TV company behind “CoComelon” and “Blippi.”
More from Variety
Sources say that Staggs and Mayer’s venture paid $60 million for a roughly 10% ownership stake. The deal values the company at just under $600 million.
Westbrook also produces the Netflix hit “Cobra Kai,” which recently returned for its fourth season, as well “Welcome to Earth,” a National Geographic series that premiered on Disney Plus. Upcoming productions indulge a Netflix docuseries about the Fourteenth Amendment entitled “Amend: The Fight For America,” as well as “Emancipation,” an Apple TV Plus action-thriller about a runaway slave starring Will Smith.
With streaming services fueling record prices for content, several production companies and studios have found themselves on the receiving end of offers. At various points, Legendary, Imagine and A24 have attracted attention from potential buyers, while LeBron James’s SpringHill Company recently sold a minority stake to RedBird Capital Partners, Fenway Sports Group, Nike and Epic Games.
— Variety (@Variety) December 12, 2021
Many of these ventures are new to the scene despite the eye-popping valuations they have received. Westbrook was only formed two years ago, and despite being run by two superstars, it has a relatively small library.
Before starting their yet-to-be-named venture, Staggs rose to become Disney’s chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide. Mayer oversaw Disney’s streaming businesses, orchestrating the launch of Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.
The Information broke the news that Westbrook had sold a minority stake.
Updated: 5:38 p.m. ET
Best of Variety