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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

Roller coaster day for Trump SPAC stock

Expand chart
Source: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday was a bumpy one for the SPAC that recently agreed to take Donald Trump's new media company public, at one point gaining more than $4.5 billion in market value.

Inside the numbers: Shared of Digital World Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: DWAC) closed at $45.50 on Thursday, the first day of trading after the Trump announcement, and then opened at $118.79 on Friday before hitting a high of $166.64.

3 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.