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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023

Legendary Entertainment Sells Minority Stake for $760 Million

Legendary Entertainment has a new minority owner following a $760 million equity investment in the company by private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc.

Film production house Legendary in Burbank was attractive to Apollo in New York for its premium content and distribution capabilities and its growth plans for the years ahead. Together with Legendary’s management team, Apollo sees strong potential merger and acquisition opportunities for the company across a variety of media categories, Apollo said in a release.

Legendary’s most recent release was science-fiction remake “Dune.”

Joshua Grode, chief executive at Legendary, said the company was excited to welcome Apollo as a new shareholder in the business.

“This fund investment from Apollo validates our success to-date and invigorates our growth plans with a strategic capital partner who shares our goal to grow the business,” Grode said in a statement.

Apollo private equity partners Aaron Sobel and Lee Solomon said that Legendary is known for its world-class content and franchise features and has strong relationships with top studios and streaming platforms.

“In making this fund investment, we were excited by the velocity in their television and film business, the strong management team and the massive secular tailwinds driving the industry,” Sobel and Solomon said in a statement. “Already, Legendary generates significant free cash flow that’s reinvested in high-growth categories, and we also see compelling M&A; opportunities ahead.”

Thomas Tull founded Legendary Entertainment in 2005. During its existence, Legendary —primarily with Warner Bros. or Universal — released a roster of blockbusters, including Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” Batman trilogy; Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” and “Man of Steel”; and Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover” comedies. After Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group acquired Legendary for $3.5 billion in 2016, Tull resigned as chairman and chief executive.

As a result of the investment by Apollo, Sobel and Solomon will join the Legendary board along with representatives from Wanda and management.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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