MACRO, the multi-platform media company founded in 2015 by former WME partner Charles D. King, has raised an additional $150M in equity and debt financing to produce and finance four to six film and TV projects a year. The company also closed a substantial credit facility arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
This follows its first round of funding two years ago. And so far, the company has produced a number of projects and gotten into business with some high-profile talent. Its first major studio feature was Fences, directed by and starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis (who took home the Oscar). The film, distributed by Paramount Pictures and co-financed by MACRO, grossed over $64.4M and received four 2017 Oscar noms.
The new equity includes financing from Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Libra Foundation. The company’s existing investors, in addition to Emerson Collective, include Shanghai/Hong Kong-based MNM Creative, MediaLink, Raymond J. McGuire of Citigroup, Anre D. Williams of American Express and other strategic investors from Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the corporate world.
MACRO has two films slated for release in November 2017. The first is Mudbound, which was directed by Dee Rees starring Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige and premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. That project, co-financed and produced by the company, was picked up by Netflix for $12.5M in what ranked as the highest sale of the festival.
The second is the legal drama Roman J. Israel, Esq., written and directed by Dan Gilroy with Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell. MACRO and Sony Pictures co-financed.
The Boots Riley-helmed independent feature Sorry To Bother You starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yuen and Armie Hammer (also co-financed by MACRO) is in post planned for a 2018 release.
“With MACRO going into its third year, we have seen the initial seeds we planted come to fruition both commercially and critically,” said founder/CEO King. “Our success is proof that our slate is striking a chord with audiences globally. This round of financing provides the capital necessary to build a robust slate of content that authentically represents the multi-faceted spectrum of our communities.”
Projects that the company has in development include collaborations with sRyan Coogler, Ava DuVernay, Rick Famuyiwa, Van Jones, Eva Longoria, Michael B. Jordan and Justin Simien.
“In supporting Charles and his extraordinary vision, I am thrilled to see the success MACRO has generated in such a short period of time, and the rich, diverse, high-quality content MACRO is bringing to our culture,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder & President, Emerson Collective.
Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation, added: “This is a vital impact investment and we are excited to support the transformative vision of Charles and the MACRO team and even more eager to witness the incredible projects that emerge.”
“We believe in the opportunity impact investing affords us to address the root causes of social inequities by harnessing the power of capital markets,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, President & CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Latham & Watkins, Davis & Shapiro and Houlihan Lokey served as legal and financial advisors to MACRO. Goldman Sachs and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. served as financial and legal advisors to Emerson Collective. Goldman Sachs and Sidley Austin LLP served as financial and legal advisors to The W.K. Kellogg Foundation. O’Melveny & Myers LLP served as legal advisors to The Libra Foundation. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP served as legal advisors to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.