Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc. have closed a deal to sell a minority stake to the media venture run by former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer.
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 itself 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.
Westbrook also produces the Netflix hit “Cobra Kai,” which recently returned for its fourth season.
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.
Many of these ventures are relatively 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 only a handful of credits.
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 is the former chairman of the Direct-to-Consumer & International division of the Walt Disney Company.
The Information broke the news that Westbrook had sold a minority stake.
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