Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs want to bring Westbrook into the fold
The Future. The still-unnamed media company run by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs is trying to stake its claim in another starry media company that’s on the rise — Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc. Similar to Disney’s success in empowering various content silos (where Mayer was heir-apparent to the throne), the execs may be piecing together a celebrity-driven media conglomerate that focuses more on culture writ large than any specific type of content.
Will & Jada, Inc.
Led by former top Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, the Blackstone-backed media company is building out its kingdom.
- The company is in talks to acquire Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s company, Westbrook Inc.
- No details have been disclosed, and Westbrook is reportedly still talking with other suitors.
Westbrook Inc.’s holdings include Westbrook Studios (which produced Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, Netflix’s Cobra Kai, and the upcoming Warner Bros. film King Richard) and Westbrook Digital (which has sold 12 different shows this past year alone, including a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special).
If Mayer and Staggs roll up Westbrook, it would be the second major acquisition this year for their media company, after their $900 million acquisition of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine just a month ago. Backed with $2 billion in cash from Blackstone, Mayer and Staggs are reportedly also in talks with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment about an acquisition. These guys aren’t playing around.
When it acquired Hello Sunshine, the company said that its ambition was to bring together “elite talent operating at the intersection of content, community, and commerce [and] help position leading entertainment businesses for accelerated, sustainable growth in the current market and beyond.” Sounds like the makings of a new kind of studio.