By R.T. Watson 

Fresh off winning a history-making Oscar for its film "Parasite," South Korean production company CJ Entertainment is part of a group investing in Skydance Media, the Hollywood company behind action-heavy blockbusters like "Terminator."

CJ Group, parent of the production company behind "Parasite" -- which at Sunday's Academy Awards became the first foreign-language film to win best picture -- and private-equity firm RedBird Capital Partners are investing $275 million in Skydance, the company responsible for the Mission Impossible and Terminator franchises. The investment values Skydance at $2.3 billion and represents an aggressive move into Hollywood for CJ.

While led by RedBird, the group of investors includes capital not only from CJ but also Tencent Holdings Ltd. and the family of Skydance Chief Executive David Ellison, whose father is Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison. The group is injecting $275 million into Skydance for a roughly 10% stake, bringing the Hollywood company's valuation to an estimated $2.3 billion, Skydance said in a statement Tuesday.

As leader of the round, RedBird put up most of the newly invested capital, according to people familiar with the matter.

"Parasite," which won four Academy Awards, has made $165.4 million world-wide, according to Box Office Mojo.

The new investment isn't CJ's first direct foray into Hollywood. In 1995, the company took an 11% stake in DreamWorks SKG with an investment of $300 million. The company was later acquired by Universal Pictures, which is now part of Comcast Corp.

Skydance's movie strategy has focused primarily on helping to finance projects developed by partner studio Paramount Pictures, owned by Viacom Inc. Recent projects produced by the partners have had lackluster results, including "Terminator: Dark Fate" and "Gemini Man," which both performed poorly at the box office. Skydance also produced "Six Underground," a critically panned film that was acquired by Netflix Inc.

Founded in 2014 by Gerry Cardinale, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, New York-based RedBird counts mostly wealthy families and entrepreneurs among its investors. It tends to have a longer time horizon for its investments than the typical five-year period favored by buyout funds.

--Miriam Gottfried contributed to this article.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 11, 2020 17:53 ET (22:53 GMT)

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