James Murdoch's Firm Buys Majority Stake in Tribeca Film Fest Company
The Lupa Systems-led group acquired the stake from the Madison Square Garden Company and other investors.
James Murdoch's investment firm is getting into the film festival business.
Lupa Systems — the new venture company led by the former 21st Century Fox CEO — has partnered with investor Joe Marchese's Attention Capital to acquire a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, which puts on the annual Tribeca Film Festival, the companies said Monday.
The Lupa-led group acquired the stake from the Madison Square Garden Company, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff and other prior investors. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. When MSG acquired a 50 percent stake in Tribeca in 2014, it valued the company, co-founded by Robert De Niro in 2003, at about $45 million.
"We are excited about working with Jane and Bob to help grow the unique Tribeca brand," Murdoch said in a statement. "When Tribeca was founded after 9/11, they brought together a tremendous creative community to embark on mission-driven business with civic impact and support for storytellers at its core. It is a real privilege to partner with this talented team to enhance and grow that mission."
Tribeca Enterprises CEO Jane Rosenthal will keep her role as the new group looks to expand and scale the brand. "Our new partnership with James and Joe will bring valuable expertise as Bob and I look to scale and strategically grow Tribeca," said Rosenthal. "James Dolan and The Madison Square Garden Company have been wonderful partners and we look forward to continuing to work with them as their venues host our future festival events."
The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival was held April 24-May 5 this year, with the documentary The Apollo (set to air on HBO) as the opening night feature and Danny Boyle's surprise box office hit Yesterday as the closing night film. Tribeca Enterprises is also comprised of the Tribeca TV Festival and production division Tribeca Studios.
Following the $71.3 billion Disney acquisition of the majority of the Murdoch-owned Fox empire, Murdoch founded Lupa Systems in March with what was speculated to be an eye toward media and tech investments.
Since its launch, the company (with offices in New York and Mumbai) has invested in comics publisher Artists Writers & Artisans, led by former Marvel executives, as well as virtual reality firm The Void, which has made branded VR titles for the Star Wars and Ghostbusters franchises.
LionTree Advisors worked with Tribeca Enterprises to complete the stake sale.