Hackman Capital on its way to dominate the studio world with new acquisitions
Hackman Capital is investing, now in cooperation with Raleigh, running CBS Television City and acquiring the Sony Pictures Animation Campus – dominating the studio market.
Hackman Capital Partners and Raleigh Studios announced in early 2021 that they have entered into a strategic venture with the iconic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California. As part of the strategic venture, Hackman Capital Partners and its affiliate The MBS Group (“HCP/MBS”) have assumed management and operational control of Raleigh Studios to ensure its continued preeminence within the industry.
Raleigh Studios’ team manages approximately 1.5 million sq. ft. of production space in Los Angeles and is now the largest operator of independent film studio facilities in North America. Raleigh owns 13 sound stages in Hollywood and manages 14 sound stages in Manhattan Beach.
Investing in studio facility – expanding capacity
Hackman Capital Partners, a privately-held real estate investment and operating company, signed a definitive agreement to purchase, through an affiliated entity, the iconic CBS Television City® property and sound-stage operations in Los Angeles, California in 2018. The acquisition includes the ongoing studio business, equipment and the rights to use the Television City trademark in connection with its operations on the property.
Hackman Capital Plans $1.3 Billion Makeover for Television City. Culver City-based Hackman Capital Partners and affiliate MBS Group have released plans for a $1.25 billion investment in Television City, a facility once owned by CBS that Hackman purchased in 2019.
The Culver City-based real estate firm announced over the last week that, in partnership with Square Mile Capital Management, it has acquired the Sony Pictures Animation Campus in Culver City and formed a joint venture with Raleigh Studios to manage Raleigh’s campus in Hollywood. Records show that Hackman Capital and Square Mile Capital paid $160 million for the Sony Pictures Animation Campus, which consists of three buildings totaling 182,000 square feet, parking, and amenities such as a screening room.
Content race creates a high demand for new soundstages
Soundstages “have been in short supply for a long time,” real estate developer David Simon said to LA Times. “Occupancy has been at 95%-plus for the last five or six years, and looking forward we don’t see a letup in demand.”
Simon wants to build a multimillion dollar studio complex on the site of a long-closed Sears store and parking lot built in 1951 on Santa Monica Boulevard, west of the 101 Freeway. Plans call for a studio with five soundstages and support facilities including offices and space for production base camps where trucks, equipment and actors’ trailers are placed.
Europe – future plans?
Europe is in the spotlight of filmmaking in the last ten years. The Walt Disney Co. has struck a long-term deal with historic Pinewood Studios outside London to take nearly all its stages, back-lots and other production accommodations. While Netflix has struck a deal to set up a permanent production base at Shepperton Studios, home to films from “Alien” to “Mary Poppins Returns”, as the company plans to spend more of its $13bn (£10.3bn) annual production budget in the UK.
Budapest has also become a center for filmmaking, productions like “47 Ronin” (2011), “A good day to Die Hard” (2012), “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” (2014), “Spy” (2014), “Blade Runner 2049” (2016), “The Alienist” (2017), “The Witcher” (2018-2019) and most recently “Dune” (2018-2020) and the last hit of Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone” – all produced at ORIGO Studios, which was founded by Raleigh in 2009.
Raleigh, owned by commercial developers George and Mark Rosenthal, developed the $70-million project with a consortium of Hungarian investors called the Origo Film Group in 2009. LA Times reported in that year, that “The complex would be the most ambitious project to date for Raleigh, which already owns or manages nearly 40 stages.”
“The Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) has stipulated that Raleigh Studios must also be an investor in ORIGO Studios and take at least a 40% stake. Michael Moore, who was the CEO of Raleigh Studios Hollywood at the time, visited Budapest many times to assess whether the city was suitable for a foreign film crew.” – was told by István Kovács, founder of the now 10-year-old ORIGO Studios.
Europe is not an uncharted water for the Hackman Group, as its Chief Operating Officer, Chris Japlit has been the senior VP of Blackstone a European real estate asset management company. As the demand for stages and studios rises, and the studio capacity is projecting a European expansion as well, the only question is: is it only in the cards or already on the table?