RedBird, Jeff Zucker and IMI create new $1bn investment vehicle for sports media

By Oliver Fisher -

RedBird Capital Partners have just launched a new joint venture investment vehicle that will target the media and entertainment industry.

As Calcio e Finanza report, RedBird – the fund that recently acquired the majority of Milan – Jeff Zucker and International Media Investments have announced that they have partnered to create RedBird IMI, a joint venture investment vehicle focused on the acquisition and investment in mass media, entertainment and sports content globally.

This is another step – after the creation of Artists Equity – in Gerry Cardinale’s strategy to bring together the arenas of sport, media and entertainment more and more. RedBird IMI has been launched with an initial capital of $1billion (approximately €950m at current exchange rates).

Jeff Zucker will be the company’s CEO and has joined RedBird as an operating partner. Zucker brings more than three decades of experience in media, sports, entertainment and digital innovation to this new experience having served as CEO of CNN, president of Turner Sports and with 25 years at NBC Universal in the bank. He also co-founded the streaming service Hulu.

Zucker commented: “I’ve spent 35 years running sports and entertainment media businesses, building new brands and revitalizing old ones. That experience provided me with unprecedented perspective, and the combination of RedBird and IMI’s capital and strategic discipline, coupled with my operational experience, will give this joint venture a unique edge in today’s media landscape.”

Gerry Cardinale said: “We are very pleased to partner with IMI to create a long-term investment vehicle capable of owning and operating content-centric businesses across the media spectrum in the United States and in the world. With Jeff as our CEO, this platform will integrate substantial operational experience with sophisticated investment and financial acumen to deploy capital.”

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