'Parasite' Studio CJ Entertainment, RedBird Capital Take Stakes in David Ellison's Skydance

David Ellison attend the Premiere of Gemini Man - Getty-H 2019
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The Korean studio behind Bong Joon Ho's Oscar sweep and Gerry Cardinale's private equity firm are part of a new strategic partnership to grow Skydance.

CJ Entertainment and Merchandising — the studio behind Bong Joon Ho's Oscar winner Parasite — and Gerry Cardinale's RedBird Capital Partners have made $275 million in strategic investments in David Ellison's Skydance Media.

Partnering with RedBird and CJ ENM aims to expand Skydance's global reach across its film, television, animation and interactive platforms and follows earlier stakes taken by the Ellison family and Tencent Holdings.

RedBird Capital led the latest investment round for Skydance, which values the media player at around $2.3 billion. And the partnership with CJ ENM and subsidiary Studio Dragon will allow Skydance to tap that Korean studios’ vast libraries to create global content, while also extending Skydance's presence in Asia.

“We are honored to partner with RedBird Capital and CJ ENM. These are sophisticated strategic partners who believe in our creative vision and our ambitious strategy to build the studio of the future,” David Ellison, Skydance Media founder and CEO, and Jesse Sisgold, Skydance Media president and COO, said Tuesday in a joint statement.

Launched in 2010, Skydance is best known for tentpole projects including the Mission Impossible, Star Trek and Terminator franchises. Its expanding television output includes Grace and Frankie and Altered Carbon on Netflix, Jack Ryan on Amazon and Dietland on AMC, among other shows.

Ellison is the son of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and the brother of Annapurna Pictures head Megan Ellison.

"As the media entertainment landscape continues to evolve against the backdrop of a transformational distribution ecosystem, I can’t think of a more compelling pure play content company than Skydance Media,” Cardinale, founder and managing partner at RedBird Capital Partners, said in his own statement.

For its part, CJ ENM is looking to its tie-up with Skydance to help with its goal of becoming a global studio after its success with Parasite. “CJ is singularly focused on strengthening borderless content to attract global audiences. With partners who share our vision, together we will create exceptional content to define the next chapter of the entertainment industry," Min Heoi Heo, CEO of CJ ENM, said in his own statement.

Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Skydance. The Raine Group acted as financial advisor and Paul Hastings LLP acted as legal advisor to CJ ENM.