Kevin Hart’s new media company secures $100m private equity investment By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Actor Kevin Hart shows his hands after having them placed in cement during a ceremony on the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
(Reuters) – Hollywood comedian and actor Kevin Hart launched a new media company called HARTBEAT on Tuesday, with a $100 million investment from private equity firm Abry Partners.
Abry, which focuses on investments in media, communication and information services, took a minority stake in the company at an undisclosed valuation.
Hart, known for his roles in films such as “Ride Along” and “Central Intelligence,” will serve as president of the new company resulting from the merger of Hart’s entertainment businesses Laugh Out Loud and HartBeat Productions.
Thai Randolph, who has held senior positions at both companies, will serve as HARTBEAT’s chief executive, the company said.
He added that Abry partner Nicolas Massard would join the company’s board and NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service would remain a shareholder.
HARTBEAT said it would produce and distribute television and film content focused on “comedy storytelling” and was in various stages of development or production on more than sixty projects.
A number of buyout companies have dipped into the entertainment space in recent months, betting on strong demand for content.
In January, private equity fund Apollo announced it would invest $760 million in Legendary Entertainment, the production and finance company behind films such as “Dune” and “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
However, streaming giant Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:) announced last week that it had lost subscribers for the first time in 10 years due to inflation, the war in Ukraine and fierce competition.