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With New Investments from an Expanding Funder Group, the Disruptive Media Company Will Finance Four to Six Film and Television Projects Annually
(Black PR Wire) LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- MACRO, the multi-platform media company founded in 2015 by former William Morris Endeavor (WME) partner Charles D. King, announced today that it has raised an additional $150 million in equity and debt financing to produce and finance four to six film and television projects annually. The equity includes financing from Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Libra Foundation. MACRO’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. The company also closed a substantial credit facility arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In 2015, MACRO closed its initial funding—an undisclosed eight-figure round.
“With MACRO going into its third year, we have seen the initial seeds we planted come to fruition both commercially and critically,” said King, Founder & CEO, MACRO. “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."
“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. “More than ever, it is vitally important that the content we consume reflects the complex diversity of who we are, inspires us to better understand experiences and perspectives different than our own, and brings forth talent, voices and stories that have been silent and unheard for too long.”
“Ford Foundation has a long history supporting independent filmmakers whose stories reflect the diversity and complexity of our societies. The MACRO fund embodies the power of using film and TV storytelling to both shape and shift culture and perspectives on equity, and lift up the voices of those that throughout history have all too often been silenced,” said Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation. “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. “We believe in projects like MACRO’s multi-media organization that will create and distribute new, complex and complete narratives that can influence our perspectives and perceptions about each other, toward a shared understanding of our collective humanity.”
The company’s first major studio feature was Fences, directed by and starring Denzel Washington along with Viola Davis. The film, distributed by Paramount Pictures and co-financed by MACRO, grossed over $64 million at the box office and received four 2017 Academy Award® nominations. The film won a myriad of awards including Davis’ Academy Award® and Golden Globe wins for Best Supporting Actress In a Motion Picture and Washington’s first-ever SAG Award—Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture.
MACRO has two highly anticipated films slated for release in November 2017. Mudbound; directed by Dee Rees starring Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige; premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and was acquired by Netflix in the highest sale of the festival. The film was produced and co-financed by MACRO. Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the company’s second major studio feature. The legal drama, written and directed by Dan Gilroy with Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell starring, was co-financed by MACRO along with Sony Pictures.
Projects that the company has in development include collaborations with dynamic content creators like Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay, Rick Famuyiwa, Van Jones, Eva Longoria, Michael B. Jordan and Justin Simien. The director Boots Riley-helmed independent feature Sorry To Bother You; starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yuen and Armie Hammer; is co-financed by MACRO and now in post-production with an expected 2018 release.
MACRO’s digital studio has a robust pipeline of cinematic projects in various stages of production. The company premiered its first digital series “Gente-fied” in the Short-Form Episodic Showcase at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. MACRO financed and executive produced the series with creative partner America Ferrera.
In addition to King, MACRO’s leadership includes Eric Briggs, Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Financial Officer; Kim Roth, President of Production; Poppy Hanks, Senior Vice President of Development & Production; Michael Palank, Vice President of Business Development & Strategy and Aaliyah Williams, Vice President of Digital Content & Production.
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.
Launched in January 2015 by former William Morris Endeavor (WME) partner Charles D. King, MACRO is a multi-platform media company focuses on the new majority multicultural market. The disruptive entertainment company develops theatrical features, premium television and cinematic digital content that reflect a more accurate portrayal of people of color (POC) but with universal themes to which all people can relate and connect. Visit www.staymacro.com for more information on the company.