Imagine Entertainment, the film and television production company co-founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, is in talks to sell a majority stake in Centricus, a London-based investment firm, according to people familiar with the matter.
Imagine, known for hits like “Cinderella Man,” “Apollo 13,” and “Inside Man,” is valued in talks with Centricus at between $600 million and $800 million, the people said. Centricus is in talks to buy more than 70% of the company, the people said.
Messrs. Howard and Messrs. Grazer will remain shareholders and Imagine’s executives will continue to direct the studio’s creative output, some of the people said. Handelsbank Raine Group will continue to own shares, some of the people said.
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The talks with Centricus could not lead to an agreement. Other admirers have also expressed an interest in Imagine, some of the people said.
Hollywood has been hit with a flurry of deals in recent months as companies capitalize on demand for movies and TV shows for burgeoning streaming services. An early milestone was Candle Media’s August deal to acquire Hello Sunshine, the media company founded by Reese Witherspoon, for approximately $900 million.
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Since then, several companies have sold outright or attracted new investors, including Westbrook Inc., media company co-founded by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, AGBO, media company Anthony Russo founded by Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Co., and SpringHill Co ., the media company co-founded by NBA star LeBron James.
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Candle Media earlier this year agreed to buy Moonbug Entertainment, creator of the children’s show “CoComelon,” for more than $2.75 billion.
This article first appeared in The Wall Street Journal