Reese Witherspoon's company, Hello Sunshine, is selling itself to private-equity giant Blackstone for $900 million, only 5 years after founding in 2016. Hello Sunshine is a media business, creating content focused on female voices. Its productions include the HBO drama "Big Little Lies," "Little Fires Everywhere" and Apple's "The Morning Show."
The acquisition is part of Blackstone's plan to build an independent entertainment company for Hollywood’s streaming era and will be run by former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs. Ms. Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine Chief Executive Sarah Harden will join the board of the new company and will continue to operate Hello Sunshine.
Reese Witherspoon said that the deal is a major endorsement of her bet that Hollywood needs more stories told by and for women. "I’m going to double down on that mission to hire more female creators from all walks of life and showcase their experiences," she added.
Short Squeez Takeaway: Amazon recently bought MGM for $8.45 billion and SpringHill Co, founded by LeBron James, is exploring a sale seeking a valuation of $750 million. As the content and streaming wars heat up, we only expect to see more deals in the sector, with Blackstone being a key player going forward. "We’ve had among our highest conviction investment themes, the continued and long-dated demand for high quality content," said Joseph Baratta (Blackstone’s global head of private equity).