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Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

AGBO, the production company co-founded by "Avengers: Endgame" directors Anthony and Joe Russo, on Wednesday said it sold a minority stake to Tokyo-based video game company Nexon.

Why it matters: This the latest in a series of investments in high-profile production companies, spurred on by the global rise of streaming.

  • This particular move links a game maker with a film production studio which both could benefit from shared intellectual property, as in making games out of films and vice versa.
  • Candle Media, a Blackstone-backed company led by former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer, has bought several studios, including Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine, Moonbug Entertainment, and Faraway Road Productions.
  • Most recently, Candle Media announced a minority stake in Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s entertainment company, Westbrook Inc.
  • Last year, LeBron James' media company SpringHill sold a minority stake to a group of investors, including Epic Games.

By the numbers: Nexon will acquire at least 38% of AGBO for $400 million, valuing the production company at $1.1 billion, the companies said.

  • The deal also allows AGBO to ask for an additional $100 million in the first half of this year.
  • Nexon becomes AGBO's largest individual shareholder and grants it two board seats. The Russos and the rest of AGBO management will retain creative control.
  • In a statement, the Russos spoke of the opportunities with this new "scale" and that the deal furthers "the convergence of franchise filmmaking and games with a global reach."

Catch up quick: The Russos and fellow producer Mike Larocca founded AGBO in 2017. In addition to theatrical releases, they've produced streaming films like the war drama "Cherry" on Apple TV+ and the upcoming action thriller "The Gray Man" on Netflix.

  • Nexon produces online games and virtual worlds, including its top franchise "Dungeon & Fighter."

Kerry Flynn will co-author an upcoming Axios Pro newsletter on Media Deals. Join the waitlist.

Go deeper

Jan 12, 2022 - Economy & Business

D.C. journalists launch media startup called "Grid"

Grid

A group of D.C.-based journalists on Wednesday launched a new media company called "Grid" that focuses on hard news analysis and investigative reporting.

Why it matters: Grid debuts amid a flurry of new media companies looking to reach a similar audience of wealthy, elite professionals.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.