Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc. is in talks to be acquired by the unnamed media company led by former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, sources familiar with the deal told The Hollywood Reporter.
With the Smiths’ Westbrook Inc., Mayer and Staggs’ media venture would have access to the production studio, Westbrook Studios, behind films like King Richard and hit TV series like Red Table Talk and Cobra Kai, as well as Westbrook’s digital arm, Westbrook Media, that sold 12 shows last year — including a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special on HBO Max and a docuseries featuring Alicia Keys on YouTube.
Mayer and Westbrook declined to comment.
Westbrook Inc., which launched in 2019 and is led by CEO Kosaku Yada and President Tera Hanks, would be the second high-profile deal for a media company led by Mayer and Staggs’ venture. In August, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine — the company that produced The Morning Show and Big Little Lies and operates Reese’s Book Club — sold to the unnamed venture in a deal valued at $900 million.
Mayer and Staggs’ media company has the backing of at least $2 billion from the private equity giant Blackstone. At the time of Hello Sunshine’s sale, Blackstone’s Joe Baratta said in a statement that “the rapidly growing demand for high-quality content is one of our firm’s highest-conviction investment themes.” The unnamed venture is also in talks for an acquisition of Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s production company.
Earlier this year, Mayer and Staggs’ venture had attempted to roll up Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings and Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content, but Ithaca Holdings ultimately sold to the South Korean entertainment group HYBE.
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