Please wait...
Please wait...

Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ Candle Media buys minority stake in Westbrook

Candle Media, the venture led by Disney alumni Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, is continuing its aggressive acquisition and investment spree by taking a minority stake in Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s company Westbrook.

Will Smith (photo: TechCrunch via CC)

The transaction, which has been rumoured for several months, is the latest in a series of high-profile deals for the big-spending company backed by private equity firm Blackstone Group. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Founded a little over two years ago, Westbrook Inc is the parent company to film and TV studio Westbrook Studios; IP incubator and production company Westbrook Media; Red Table Talk Productions, which produces the Facebook Watch shows Red Table Talk and Red Table Talk: The Estefans; and consumer products division Good Goods.

Westbrook Studios’ credits include the film King Richard, about the life of Serena and Venus Williams’ father Richard, martial arts comedy-drama Cobra Kai for Netflix and the six-part docuseries Amend: The Fight For America, also for Netflix.

The company’s Studios division is also producing the upcoming feature film Emancipation for Apple TV+ and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot for Peacock.

“We are thrilled to back Will and Jada and for the opportunity to work with Westbrook’s CEO Ko Yada and the rest of their incredibly talented team. They have established Westbrook as a home for world-class creators that is built for the digital age – which fully aligns with our company’s vision for the future of media,” said Mayer and Staggs in a statement.

Westbrook’s executive team includes Ko Yada, CEO; Tera Hanks, president; Gila Jones, chief operating officer; Kevin McDonald, chief financial officer; Brad Haugen, president of Westbrook Media; Terence Carter, co-president, head of television, Westbrook Studios; and Jon Mone, co-president, head of film, Westbrook Studios.

Candle Media burst on to the scene in August of 2021 with its acquisition of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine for a reported US$900m.

The company next acquired children’s entertainment company Moonbug Entertainment, the London- and LA-based company behind brands such as CoComelon, Blippi and Little Baby Bum, in a deal pegged at US$3bn.

In late December, Candle Media also reportedly acquired Faraway Road Productions, the Israeli production company behind series including Fauda and Hit & Run for Netflix.

While Candle Media has been one of the film and TV industry’s most talked about companies over the past six months, it did not officially have a name until it unveiled its latest acquisition on Monday.

According to the company, the name “reflects the light of creativity at the heart of its model as an independent, creator-friendly home for cutting-edge, high-quality, category-defining brands and franchises.”


Please wait...