Blackstone-backed firm nears $3 billion deal for Moonbug Entertainment

Blackstone-backed firm nears $3 billion deal for Moonbug Entertainment

A company backed by Blackstone Group (BX.N) and led by former Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs is nearing a deal to buy Moonbug Entertainment for roughly $3 billion, three people familiar with the matter said.

The deal for the media house behind children’s entertainment show “CoComelon” could be announced as soon as this week, the sources said on Wednesday, requesting anonymity as the talks are confidential.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, the Blackstone-led group will pay Moonbug $2.75 billion upfront. The remaining $300 million will be paid based on the company’s performance, the sources said.

They, however, cautioned that the deal terms and the timing of the announcement could change.

Moonbug did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment. Blackstone declined to comment. The Information first reported about the talks between Blackstone and Moonbug.

The Blackstone-backed group had in August struck a deal to buy Academy award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine, for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2018, Moonbug has created content for children including “Little Baby Bum” and “Blippi”, while its hit show “CoComelon” has more than 100 million YouTube subscribers.

As the chief strategy officer at Disney, Mayer oversaw acquisitions of companies like 21st Century Fox, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm at Disney and spearheaded the launch of Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) streaming service Disney+. He was also the former chief executive at TikTok.

The deal, should it close, fits with the model Staggs and Mayer have laid out for their new media company. Moonbug’s children’s shows are popular on YouTube and Netflix (NFLX.O) and its well-known characters could help licensing and merchandising.