Former News Corporation COO Peter Chernin has taken on major new investors to make The Chernin Group (TCG) a major international media company. The investment group is led by Providence Equity Partners.
As part of the transaction, the Providence-led group acquired a significant minority equity stake in TCG, and representatives of Providence will join TCG’s Board of Directors. Peter Chernin will become a Senior Advisor to Providence. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As a result of the partnership and the new infusion of capital, TCG will leverage its partners’ expertise and resources to expand and diversify the global media and entertainment operating company. TCG and Providence say they will work together to invest in, acquire, build and operate media assets around the world, with a particular focus on the US, as well as emerging markets such as Asia, particularly in India, Indonesia, and China. Capital raised in the transaction will be used primarily for TCG investments.
“We have made tremendous progress to date, and we’re buoyed by the faith and enthusiasm of our new partners. Our goal is to build a global, diversified media company that leverages the key areas of value and growth in the world today – the importance of premium content; exploiting opportunities in emerging markets, specifically Asia; and technology’s disruptive impact on the media industry,” said Chernin. “Providence brings an exceptional track record of identifying and supporting the growth of innovative media and entertainment companies. With their additional expertise and resources, we intend to expand our company across all fronts,” he added.
“We have worked closely with Peter for many years and have tremendous respect for his extraordinary creative savvy and world-class business acumen,” said Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Providence. “We share the same outlook and enthusiasm for the significant media and entertainment investment opportunities around the world. Given our collective industry experience, network of relationships, and long-term commitment to these vibrant industry sectors, it is clear that together we have a team with tremendous depth of talent and expertise to build a media and entertainment company of scale. This partnership is already up and running, and we look forward to pursuing unique growth opportunities together.”
TCG’s current assets include Chernin Entertainment, an entertainment production company; a majority stake in CA Media, an Asia-based media investment company; and several strategic investments in US based technology and media companies.
Chernin Entertainment has produced the feature film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and is currently in production on director Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi thriller “Oblivion” starring Tom Cruise. “Parental Guidance” starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler will be released in December 2012. Chernin Entertainment also produces the Fox television shows “New Girl,” “Touch,” and A&E’s “Breakout Kings.” Currently, the company is also producing two pilots, an untitled comedy for CBS written by Nick Stoller and an untitled Dana Fox comedy for Fox.
TCG-majority owned CA Media focuses on investing in business opportunities in Asia, particularly India, Indonesia, and China. TCG has also made a series of investments in US digital media ventures, including Pandora Media, the audio streaming company; Fullscreen, a next-generation digital media company focused on empowering content creators, networks and brands to leverage online video; Tumblr, a blogging and social sharing platform that hosts over 50 million blogs and has over 130 million visitors per month from around the world; and Flipboard, the world’s first social magazine designed for iPad and iPhone, providing an entirely new experience for browsing social content and online news.
Legal advisors for the transaction included Ziffren Brittenham LLP, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and O’Melveny & Myers for The Chernin Group and Weil Gotshal & Manges for Providence Equity Partners.
RBR-TVBR observation: Chernin hasn’t exactly been sitting on the beach since leaving News Corporation in 2009. He no doubt has big plans if he’s now gathering big bucks.