Participant Media Joins $350 Million Investment Venture

Participant Media CEO Jim Berk

UPDATED: Partnering with TPG and Evolution Media Capital in Evolution Media "allows us to accelerate our reach and impact," says CEO Jim Berk.

Participant Media has joined TPG Growth, a unit of private equity firm TPG, and merchant bank Evolution Media Capital (EMC), which focuses on the media and sports industries, as a partner in Evolution Media, a joint venture that plans to invest up to $350 million in media, entertainment and sports companies.

Participant has acquired an equity stake in Evolution Media’s existing holdings "and intends to further invest with Evolution Media moving forward," the companies said without disclosing full financial details.

Participant CEO Jim Berk and COO Jeff Ivers will join the Evolution Media board of directors.

TPG owns a stake of about 35 percent in Hollywood agency CAA. EMC was formed as a partnership with CAA. TPG Growth's investments include Uber and Airbnb.

"From the start, Participant was envisioned by founder Jeff Skoll as a global media company, and our partnership with TPG Growth and EMC allows us to accelerate our reach and impact," said Berk. "By joining Evolution Media, we dramatically increase our access to strategic and emerging media opportunities. TPG Growth is a global industry leader and our experience with EMC on three successful transactions provides us with partners for whom we have great trust and respect."

Evolution Media will look to invest in and operate media, sports and entertainment companies whose growth trajectory can be accelerated via the expertise and platforms of EMC, Participant and TPG.

Participant Media, whose films have included Syriana and An Inconvenient Truth, and EMC have a long-standing relationship, having previously collaborated on Participant’s investments in Summit Entertainment and Image Nation Film Fund, as well as its acquisition of The Documentary Channel. The channel became part of the distribution network for Pivot, Participant’s new TV network for millennials, which launched in August 2013 and is now in 45 million homes.

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