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Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Hello Sunshine, the Hollywood production company co-founded by Reese Witherspoon, has sold to a new, unnamed media company backed by Blackstone and led by former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer, Hello Sunshine said Monday.

Why it matters: Hello Sunshine was one of several smaller Hollywood studios exploring opportunities to sell, given the ripe market for content firms in the streaming era.

Catch up quick: The production company was created in 2016 to tell stories about the experiences of women across all platforms — TV, film, podcasts, streaming, etc. Some of its more popular productions include shows starring Witherspoon, like “Big Little Lies,” and “The Morning Show."

  • The company's investors include AT&T (via Otter Media), Emerson Collective, Seth Rodsky and Jim Toth, Witherspoon's husband.

Details: The idea behind the new company is to roll up several media, entertainment and technology brands to take them public.

  • Hello Sunshine, will be the "initial pillar" of that rollup strategy, according to a statement. The deal enables Hello Sunshine to remain independent.
  • Hello Sunshine’s existing senior management team, including CEO Sarah Harden, will continue to oversee the company's day-to-day operations.
  • Witherspoon and Harden will remain significant equity holders in the business, per a statement. The two will join the new media company’s board.

Be smart: The deal is being backed by investment capital from Blackstone, one of the world's largest global investment firms. It is worth more than $900 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported news of the transaction.

  • Staggs and Mayer also announced last year that they had formed a special purpose acquisition firm (SPAC) Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II. This company is separate from that venture.

The big picture: Streaming has sparked a flurry of consolidation in the TV and film production space. Amazon announced in May it would acquire MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, including debt.

  • LeBron James' entertainment firm, SpringHill Company, is exploring a sale at a possible valuation of $750 million, Axios has confirmed.

Go deeper

Sep 14, 2021 - Economy & Business

Winklevoss twins back Payload, a new outlet covering business of space

Photo courtesy of Payload

Payload, a new digital media company focused on the business and policy of space, is hoping to bring more professional coverage to an industry that's growing very big, very fast.

Why it matters: For years, space coverage has focused on the consumer-facing spectacle of space travel instead of the business and societal implications of the industry.

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.

By the numbers: Haitian emigration

Expand chart
Data: CBP; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The number of Haitians crossing the U.S.-Mexico border had been rising even before their country's president was assassinated in July and the island was struck by an earthquake a month later.

Why it matters: A spike during the past few weeks — leaving thousands waiting in a makeshift camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas — has prompted a crackdown and deportations by the Biden administration.