STX Entertainment Merging With India’s Eros International
Deadline has brought word that the movie studio STX Entertainment and India’s Eros International have signed a deal to merge into a new, publicly traded media company with projects across film, TV, streaming and other entertainment areas.
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The new entity will be entitled Eros STX Global Corporation and is being described as a “revamped” capital structure, with key elements of funding including $125 million of incremental equity from new and existing STX investors TP, Hony Capital and Liberty Global, as well as a $350 million JP Morgan-led credit facility.
The new company is aiming to produce and distribute both Bollywood and Hollywood across film, TV and streaming, with Eros International already having 188 million users through its streaming service Eros Now, including over 26 million paid subscribers for a library of more than 12,000 Hindi and regional languages.
The management team of Eros STX will be led by Kishore Lulla as Executive Co-Chairman, Robert Simonds as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Warren as Chief Financial Officer, Rishika Lulla Singh and Noah Fogelson as Co-Presidents and Prem Parameswaran as Head of Corporate Strategy.
Simonds’ issued an internal meme to the staff of STX, which reads as follows:
Dear STX Family,
Today marks an important and exciting day for our company. I’m very happy to let you know that we have just announced an agreement to combine forces with Eros International, the leading Indian film studio and OTT platform driving Bollywood. Eros is simply the most important film company in India. After the transaction closes, expected by the end of June, the combined company will be called Eros STX Global Corporation and will trade on the NYSE, where Eros is traded today. Together with Eros, we will realize our ambition to be a global powerhouse in entertainment, digital media and OTT. You can find a copy of the press release we issued here
The combination will create the first independent media company with the expertise and creative cultures of Hollywood and Bollywood, while also leveraging the important inroads both companies have made into the Chinese market. Together we will have the relationships, management expertise and resources to create new content addressing the largest and most attractive global markets and will be backed by some of the most sophisticated investors in the media space.
As some of you already know, Eros has the largest library of Indian films with 3,000 titles and its OTT platform Eros Now is the leading SVoD platform for Indian content with 12,000 digital rights. The combined company will collaborate with key partners like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft NBCUniversal and Google/YouTube, and continue the our cost-effective, star-driven development, production and distribution models each company is known for today. We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.
The combined company will be led by executives from both companies. I will serve as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the new company alongside Eros International’s current CEO, Kishore Lulla who will be the Executive Co-Chairman. Kishore is a giant in the Indian media world and has played a key role in shaping the country’s entertainment market for decades. Andy Warren will be the CFO of the combined entity. I’m also thrilled to announce that Noah Fogelson will serve as Co-President of the new company, alongside Rishika Lulla Singh, who currently serves as Chairman of Eros Digital. The combined company will be headquartered in both Burbank and Mumbai.
This combination is truly an example of two great companies coming together to create a powerful force in the global entertainment space. With this new capital and our global film and digital businesses we are well positioned to create and distribute content globally, that will allow audiences to consume our premium content when, where and how they prefer.
As always, thank you for your continued focus on the exciting work we do. This news is due in no small part to the incredible work and dedication that each of you contribute to our company every day. As we expand into the most important markets around the world, I’m excited to see what our team is capable of achieving.
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The studio was formed in 2014 and hit the ground running on the big and small screens with the short-lived NBC espionage thriller State of Affairs led by Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) and the Joel Edgerton written-directed-starring thriller The Gift, which was a major box office and critical success. The following years saw a fluctuation of receptions at the box office and with critics and audiences, with hits including the Bad Moms movies, Golden Globe-nominated The Edge of Seventeen and Hustlers, as well as flops including Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Mile 22 and The Happytime Murders. This decline in success led to the studio reportedly pushing back upcoming releases including My Spy and Playmobil: The Movie due to lack of stable financing.