Tokyo-based holding company SoftBank is investing $250 million into Legendary Entertainment, it was announced on Thursday.
Under the agreement, the companies will form a joint venture to exploit Legendary’s IP rights in television, digital, licensing and merchandising. Ancillary lines, such as various OTT/mobile platforms, are also mentioned in a release about areas the venture will focus on. Particular attention will be paid to the growing markets in China and India.
“Our goal at SIMI is to leverage SoftBank’s international platform and network of Internet and media partners to accelerate content creators’ digital strategies and extend their global reach,” said Nikesh Arora, vice chairman of SoftBank and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media, in a release. “Legendary is already a content powerhouse and we are very excited to make this investment and help them bring their incredibly successful film franchises and other exciting new media content to an even larger global audience.”
SoftBank’s investment is expected to close this month. Arora, a former Google exec, will be appointed to Legendary’s Board of Directors as part of this investment.
Last week, the industry was swirling with reports that SoftBank was on the verge of buying DreamWorks Animation, owner of multimedia studio and multi-channel network AwesomenessTV, in a deal worth $3.4 billion. But, by Monday, talks between the two companies had cooled.
Legendary is very active in online video production: earlier this year the company bought Geek & Sundry multi-channel network, and it recently announced a special horror project with YouTube Space LA.