By Shane McGinley
Investment arm of Abu Dhabi gov't acquires stake in US-based The Raine Group.
Mubadala Development Company, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, said on Thursday it was expanding into the entertainment and media sectors through a stake in a US-based merchant bank.
The investment arm has acquired a nine percent stake in The Raine Group, a merchant bank which focuses on the entertainment, digital media and sports sectors and was set up in partnership with the William Morris Endeavor (WME), one of the largest entertainment agencies in the world.
WME’s client list includes A-listers such as Adam Sandler, Keira Knightley, Amy Adams, Richard Gere, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Bay, Russell Crowe, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington and Mel Gibson, among others.
It also represents corporate clients such as Coca-Cola and Hasbro, singers like Britney Spears and Kanye West and has been involved in TV shows such as 30 Rock, Gossip Girl, Lost, South Park, ER, The Office and American Idol.
The bank was set up last year and was founded by Joe Ravitch, a former senior partner at Goldman Sachs and Jeff Sine, a former vice-chairman at UBS.
In addition to Mubadala and WME, Raine’s investors also include private equity pioneer Ted Forstmann, who is chairman and CEO of International Management Group (IMG).
IMG is also one of the largest sports and entertainment agencies in the business, with clients including Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Sir Jackie Stewart, Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss, Heidi Klum, Drew Barrymore, Mischa Barton and Liv Tyler.
Speaking from the inaugural Abu Dhabi Media Summit, Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chief operating officer of Mubadala, said, “We are proud to be partnering with Raine. Their ambition, expertise and vision are precisely the traits we seek in our partners and ones that are suited to capitalize on the opportunities the global digital media, entertainment and sports sectors present.”
“Abu Dhabi and Mubadala could help to shape the sports and entertainment sectors and we are thrilled to work with them as this industry continues to change and grow through new technologies and geographies,” said Jeff Sine.
Raine has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Beijing.