Liberty Global has invested an undisclosed amount in new Hollywood studio STX Entertainment. Liberty Global chief programming officer Bruce Mann will join the STX board.
Mann will joint leaders from private equity firms TPG and China-based Hony Capital, as well as Tencent, the Chinese internet giant, PCCW, the global telecommunications provider, and business interests of Gigi Pritzker and Dominic Ng, among others, on the STX board.
The Wall Street Journal cited an unnamed source as saying that Liberty was investing US$35 million, valuing STX at US$1.37 billion. However, the paper said that spokespeople for both companies had told it the figure was not correct.
STX is headed by Robert Simonds and was co-founded by Bill McGlashan, managing partner of the leading global private investment firm TPG.
Through its backers, the company has a strong focus on the Chinese market. Its film division recently released US/China co-production The Foreigner with Jackie Chan and A Bad Moms Christmas, a follow up to last year’s Bad Moms. In December the studio will debut Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game.
On the TV side, STX recently announced Valley of the Boom, which will premiere globally on National Geographic. Its VR division inked deals with Horizon Media, the largest private media agency, to become its exclusive VR and 360 content provider, and last month, became the only VR company to be given a dedicated channel on the Google Daydream platform.
“Having one of the world’s biggest content distributors incentivized in STX’s continued success is gratifying confirmation of our brand and business strategy. We look forward to benefiting from Bruce and Liberty Global’s counsel to accelerate our plans for expansion,” said Simonds.
“I am so pleased to be part of the team that made this investment in STX. In this unprecedented and transformative time in our industry, it is more imperative than ever to align with the best partners and most forward-looking leaders. With Bob, the STX team and its other sophisticated investors, I can’t think of a more proven group to chart the course for the future of entertainment,” said Mann.
STX is the latest early-stage production outfit to receive an investment from Liberty Global. Earlier this year, the cable giant teamed up Texan investment outfit TPG Growth to back new production outfit Platform One Media, headed by Narcos producer Katie O’Connell Marsh.
At Cable Congress in March, Mann told DTVE that Liberty was focusing on making investments cross four content categories – FTA assets, production assets, sports assets and OTT digital assets.