Opportunistic, Growth-Focused Raise Sets Valuation at Over $4 Billion
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Skydance Media (“Skydance” or the “Company”) today announced the completion of a $400 million strategic investment round led by KKR and joined by The Ellison family who remain the Company’s majority shareholders. Existing investors RedBird Capital Partners and Tencent also participated in the fundraise, which values Skydance at over $4 billion.
The addition of KKR as a new strategic investor further solidifies Skydance’s position as a leading independent global media company. The capital raise and access to the expertise and global network of KKR will also help accelerate Skydance’s growth initiatives in sports and interactive entertainment, as well as the continued scaling of existing verticals such as animation.
Skydance Media’s CEO, David Ellison, said: “The investment from KKR creates a powerful strategic partnership with a firm at the forefront of the evolution of technology and interactive entertainment, all of which are key propellers in the next phase of Skydance’s growth. Having KKR in our corner as thought partners and engaged collaborators will help us to execute on the many opportunities we see in front of us. We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of our long-term strategic investors – RedBird, who has championed our sports strategy, as well as Tencent and CJ ENM, who have each helped to drive our global growth and diversification.”
Skydance’s cross-platform approach to IP creation, ownership and distribution combined with deep relationships with content, talent and technology partners have bolstered the Company’s scalability and earnings potential across its industry leading divisions. The Company has created some of the most successful entertainment franchises, including most recently its record-setting release of Top Gun: Maverick. Skydance’ s content has also consistently overperformed on multiple streamers including chart-topping results on Amazon, Apple and Netflix, as well as video game releases on interactive platforms.
Jenny Box, Partner and Co-Head of KKR’s Strategic Investments Group, said: “We are delighted to invest behind Skydance, David Ellison and the impressive, differentiated team of creative and entrepreneurial talent he has assembled.” Ted Oberwager, Partner, who leads the gaming, entertainment, media and sports verticals within KKR’s Americas Private Equity business, added: “Skydance has already created a diverse collection of premium content across multiple formats, and we are only in the early stages of what they can accomplish. We look forward supporting the Skydance team as they continue to build their business across TV, film, animation, gaming and sports and tell compelling stories in new and innovative ways.”
KKR is investing in Skydance through funds and accounts managed by its Strategic Investments Group. Across its strategies, KKR has deep experience investing in category leaders across media, entertainment and sports businesses, including Axel Springer, ByteDance, Chord Music Partners, Epic Games, FanDuel Group, Leonine Studios, Mediawan, OverDrive, PlayOn! Sports, RBmedia and UFC.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Skydance. Moelis & Company acted as financial advisor and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal advisor to KKR.