Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s multi-tiered media company, Westbrook Inc., may soon enter the fold of a still-unnamed entertainment conglomerate being forged by former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs.
That nascent venture, backed by private equity giant Blackstone Group to the tune of $2 billion, finalized its first acquisition last month of Reese Witherspoon’s female-focused media outfit Hello Sunshine for a reported $900 million. Now, it has its sights set on Westbrook, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (Rumblings about Westbrook’s acquisition initially surfaced at the time of the Hello Sunshine deal).
Westbrook Studios produces the likes of Red Table Talk and Cobra Kai, while its digital arm, Westbrook Media, is behind HBO Max’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special and a forthcoming YouTube docuseries starring Alicia Keys.
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In addition to Westbrook, Mayer and Staggs are also in talks to acquire Imagine Entertainment, according to the Reporter, the film studio founded by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Their aim is to gobble up various content purveyors and then license programming to other studios, networks, and streaming services.
While Hello Sunshine marked its first purchase, the Reporter notes that Mayer and Staggs’ firm in February explored a roll-up of Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings media company and Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content, a film studio — though the former ultimately sold to HYBE, the parent company of K-pop supergroup BTS.