LeBron James’s Media Company Sells Minority Stake to Group That Includes Nike, ‘Fortnite’ Creator Epic Games

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The deal is valued at Springhill $725 million; James and CEO Maverick Carter to remain largest shareholders

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Nike in the group of investors. is included Inc.,

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“Fortnite” creator Epic Games Inc., Redbird Capital Partners and the parent company of sports teams including Fenway Sports Group, the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, a football team in the English Premier League.

According to a person familiar with the matter, Springhill’s chief executive Maverick Carter and Springhill’s president, Mr. James, will remain the largest shareholders with a majority of the voting shares.

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Springhill, known for TV shows and movies including the HBO interview series “The Shop” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, has been involved in launching new shows, licensing its programming in new countries, and creating content for Epic Games. funding will be used. Among other efforts, Mr. Carter said in an interview.

Mr Carter said some of the proceeds from the stake sale would be used in the Bankroll acquisition. “We are interested in seeing companies that focus on creativity and have creativity at their center,” he said.

Springhill is poised to generate more than $100 million in revenue over the next four quarters, the person said. Springhill has reached break-even and is forecasting revenue of between $150 million and $200 million in 2022, a person familiar with its financial projections said.

As part of the deal, SpringHill plans to partner with Nike to produce programming that includes athletes affiliated with the athletic apparel company, Mr. Carter said. Nike has a longstanding relationship with Mr. James, who in 2015 signed a lifetime endorsement deal with the NBA superstar.

Epic Games, which also created “Unreal Tournament” beyond “Fortnite,” will work with Springhill to create programming tied to its products and ventures. The companies have already worked together, with Mr. James partnering with Epic in July to use their likeness in his “Fortnite” game.

Messrs James and Carter have shares in Fenway Sports Group, and Springhill has a deal to produce materials for the company.

James & Carter, co-founded by Messrs in 2008, Los Angeles-based Springhill has 142 employees who produce TV shows and movies and create advertisements for brands including The Procter & Gamble Company and PepsiCo Inc. It has an athlete-focused division called Uninterrupted. Which produces and sells TV shows and podcasts.

The deal came together over a period of 15 months, during which Paul Wachter, a longtime business advisor to M/s James and Carter, crossed over to the US to lead negotiations with potential investors. A pivotal moment came in June, when Messrs Wachter and Carter made a presentation in front of the Fenway Park grounds in a suite that included Boston Red Sox owner John Henry.

“When you walk out of a meeting like this, you’re like, ‘Okay, it’s done,'” Mr. Wachter said.

Redbird Chief Executive Gerry Cardinal said in an interview that SpringHill has the potential to become a multi-billion dollar company over the next five years, with increased opportunities for advertisers to produce branded content, scripted and unscripted TV shows and movies and commercial-licensing agreement.

“Whether you take it public, whether you monetize it in a different way, or you keep it and recapitalize it, this company is at the point where it’s just going to get started,” Mr. Cardinale said.

Benjamin Mullin at [email protected]


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