Private equity firm Apollo has agreed a $760 million equity investment in Legendary, the production and finance company behind films such as Dune and TV series Lost in Space.
Apollo has taken a minatory stake in the studio, which China’s Dalian Wanda Group acquired in 2016 in a deal valued at $3.5 billion.
Led by CEO Joshua Grode, Legendary develops, produces, distributes and finances films and TV projects, and has leading comic book, VR, licensing and merchandising divisions.
Its content slate includes movies Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong, streaming feature film franchises including Enola Holmes and the upcoming films Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Fresh, plus television series such as Lost In Space and Carnival Row and the soon to be released series Paper Girls and Lightyears.
Apollo said it was attracted by the studio’s track record in creating popular content, and its relationships with the top studios and streaming services alike.
Apollo Private Equity Partners Aaron Sobel and Lee Solomon said: “In making this fund investment, we were excited by the velocity in their television and film business, the strong management team and the massive secular tailwinds driving the industry. Already, Legendary generates significant free cash flow that’s reinvested in high-growth categories, and we also see compelling M&A opportunities ahead.”
Legendary CEO Joshua Grode said: “We are excited to welcome Apollo as a new shareholder in Legendary and equally important as a thought partner in our business. This fund investment from Apollo validates our success to-date and invigorates our growth plans with a strategic capital partner who shares our goal to grow the business.”
“We acquired Legendary in 2016 with a thesis to grow the full scope of content production and distribution globally and have seen strong success to-date. We are pleased to now welcome Apollo as investors in the company,” said Lincoln Zhang, the lead director on the board of Legendary as a representative of Wanda.