The private equity firm is in talks to take a significant minority stake in the company, said the people who were granted anonymity because the matter is private. Specific size and valuation weren’t disclosed, but Sportico sister publication Variety reported in July that SpringHill was talking to investors at a roughly $750 million valuation.
Representatives for RedBird and SpringHill declined to comment.
SpringHill Company is the combination of three businesses launched by James and his longtime business partner Maverick Carter: SpringHill Entertainment, Uninterrupted and the Robot Co. marketing agency. Last year SpringHill Company raised $100 million from a group that included Guggenheim Partners, the University of California’s UC Investments and Jason Stein’s SC.Holdings.
Should the RedBird deal close, it would be another direct link between the Los Angeles Lakers star and RedBird, which is led by former Goldman Sachs partner Gerry Cardinale. The private equity firm recently bought 10% of Fenway Sports Group, the parent of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. James was a long-time Liverpool investor and recently joined FSG as a partner.
There are other parts of the RedBird portfolio that create potential synergies for SpringHill. Cardinale is building a network of companies across sports, media and entertainment, including the XFL (alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), YES Network, Wasserman and OneTeam Partners. RedBird is also an investor in Skydance Media, founded by David Ellison, the studio behind the Oscar-winning movie Parasite.
Conversations between SpringHill Co. and other potential investors are also taking place, according to one of the people.
SpringHill’s projects include the new Space Jam movie, which starred James, NewLine’s House Party and Hustle, a Netflix movie starring Adam Sandler. Talks with potential investors included Nike (one of James’ biggest sponsors), a number of streaming providers and tech companies, according to the Variety report.
(This story has been updated with details of SpringHill’s projects in the last paragraph.)