NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, March 7, 2013 – Content Partners LLC, an entertainment finance firm that acquires cash flows from successful film, television and music properties, today announced that it has purchased a 50-percent interest in the blockbuster television franchise “CSI” (Crime Scene Investigation) from an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. The acquisition makes Content Partners an equal stakeholder in the second largest franchise in television history with CBS Corporation, which owns the other 50-percent interest. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the transaction, Content Partners and CBS will each own half of all rights in the franchise, which includes the CBS series “CSI” (currently in its 13th season), “CSI: New York” (currently in its ninth season), and “CSI Miami” (10 seasons completed). CBS will control all domestic and international distribution rights to the series.
“One of the most attractive aspects of this acquisition is the strong commitment that CBS has made in continuing to aggressively distribute and leverage the ‘CSI’ franchise across all media,” said Steven H. Kram, President and CEO of Content Partners. “The ‘CSI’ franchise is internationally acclaimed and has consistently been one of television’s top-rated shows since it debuted in 2000. We are proud to partner with CBS, which is one of the best producers and distributors of content in the world.”
LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor to Content Partners in the transaction. Paul Wachter, Content Partners’ Co-Chairman of the Board was also instrumental in finalizing the transaction. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan provided financing for the deal.
The “CSI” transaction represents Content Partners’ largest acquisition to date, and bolsters its already extensive catalog of entertainment properties, which includes interests in 119 films and five television series, acquired from numerous high-profile actors, writers, directors and other financial participants in these properties. Content Partners leverages these assets through a unique business model that provides the entertainment industry’s creative and investment communities with financial liquidity in their interests in entertainment properties. This approach mitigates future risk in revenue receipts, and in return, Content Partners acquires future royalty ownership.