Former Disney executives turn into LA’s hottest dealmakers

Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, who had been each as soon as in line to steer Walt Disney Co., are rising as two of the busiest dealmakers in Los Angeles.

They filed papers Thursday to boost as a lot as $345 million for Forest Highway Acquisition II, their second particular function acquisition firm, or SPAC, which can be companies to purchase. On Feb. 10, the unique Forest Highway Acquisition Corp. introduced that it was merging with two health corporations to create Beachbody Co., a wellness firm with a market worth of $2.9 billion.

Mayer, 58, and Staggs, 60, are additionally trying to boost $2 billion from Blackstone Group Inc. to amass different leisure companies, together with music impresario Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings and TV producer Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content material, in keeping with individuals accustomed to their considering.

The pair, who will function co-chairman and co-chief govt officers of the brand new enterprise, plan to amass companies concerned in music, movie and TV manufacturing, managing artists and growing influencers within the worlds of sports activities and leisure.

The Hollywood Reporter reported earlier this week on these plans.

Staggs, previously the chief working officer at Disney, left 4 years in the past after being informed he wasn’t probably get the highest job. He had been serving on the boards of companies making health and environmental merchandise, whereas mulling some extra high-profile leisure jobs. He didn’t enter the general public eye in an enormous means once more till becoming a member of with Mayer in October to kind the primary Forest Highway. Basketball star and commentator Shaquille O’Neal additionally joined the corporate as a strategic adviser.

As soon as obscure automobiles for taking corporations public, SPACs soared to document ranges final yr, accounting for 46% of the $180 billion raised in preliminary public choices on US exchanges, in keeping with knowledge compiled by Bloomberg. This yr, SPACs are dominating new listings, making up 63% of $76 billion in IPO quantity, the information present.

Mayer led the launch of Disney’s phenomenally profitable Disney+ streaming service, earlier than being handed over for the CEO place final February. He briefly took on that position at social media large TikTok — the supply of ire for then-President Donald Trump due to its ties to China — earlier than leaving the corporate in August.

“We’re doing another stuff we’re another issues,” Mayer mentioned throughout an interview on Bloomberg Tv after the Beachbody deal this month. “There could also be future bulletins to make,” he mentioned with a smile.

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