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Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company sells stake to France’s Mediawan

Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, the production company behind films like The Big Short, agreed to sell a “significant” stake to Mediawan SA, the French media conglomerate behind the hit series Call My Agent.

Mediawan is financing the deal through a capital increase with investments from shareholders including KKR, Atwater Capital and Societe Generale SA, the company said in a statement Saturday. Pitt and his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will also become holders of Mediawan after the transaction. It values Plan B at more than €300 million, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Investors have been looking to put money into independent production companies to take advantage of the growing demand for original programming. Companies affiliated with a big star like Pitt have proved especially desirable. 

Last year, Reese Witherspoon sold a majority stake in her Hello Sunshine operation to a Blackstone-backed media venture led by Walt Disney Co. veterans in a deal that valued the business at $900 million. A production company created by LeBron James was valued at $725 million in the sale of a minority stake to RedBird Capital Partners, Nike Inc. and Epic Games Inc.

Mediawan’s Plan B investment will be made through a new entity, Mediawan US, which will coordinate the firm’s development in the country. 

Global audience

Founded in 2015 as a SPAC by French TV producer Pierre-Antoine Capton, telecom billionaire Xavier Niel and Centerview Partners banker Matthieu Pigasse, Mediawan’s businesses range from TV to cinema production and content distribution. The deal with Plan B allows the firm to expand beyond its core European market.

“As we enter the next chapter in our evolution, we are excited at the possibilities this partnership affords as we maximize our reach toward an increasingly global audience with a broad range of films and television series across all platforms, genres, and mediums,” Pitt, Gardner and Kleiner said in the statement.

Pitt founded Plan B in 2001 alongside his then wife Jennifer Aniston and manager Brad Grey. The company has carved out a niche as a producer of award-winning films and has a deal to make TV shows for Inc.

Mediawan US’s board will be chaired by Atwater Capital’s founder and managing partner Vania Schlogel, while Mediawan’s co-founder Capton will act as CEO.

Talks between Mediawan and Plan B were previously reported by Bloomberg News. The Financial Times reported the deal earlier Saturday.

–With assistance from Benoit Berthelot.

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