Content Partners LLC, an entertainment finance firm that acquires cash flows from successful film, television and music properties, has purchased a 50% stake in the blockbuster television franchise from an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. The deal makes Content Partners an equal stakeholder with CBS Corp.
Content Partners and CBS will each own half of all rights in the franchise, which includes the CBS series “CSI” (currently in its 13th season), “CSI: New York” (currently in its ninth season), and “CSI Miami” (10 seasons completed). CBS will control all domestic and international distribution rights to the series.
“One of the most attractive aspects of this acquisition is the strong commitment that CBS has made in continuing to aggressively distribute and leverage the ‘CSI’ franchise across all media,” said Steven Kram, President and CEO of Content Partners. “The ‘CSI’ franchise is internationally acclaimed and has consistently been one of television’s top-rated shows since it debuted in 2000. We are proud to partner with CBS, which is one of the best producers and distributors of content in the world.”
LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor to Content Partners in the transaction. Paul Wachter, Content Partners’ Co-Chairman of the Board was also instrumental in finalizing the transaction. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan provided financing for the deal.
The “CSI” transaction represents Content Partners’ largest buy to date, and bolsters its catalog of entertainment properties, which includes interests in 119 films and five television series, acquired from numerous high-profile actors, writers, directors and other financial participants in these properties.