STX Entertainment, the company founded three and a half years ago by Robert Simonds and Bill McGlashan of TPG Growth with investment from Gigi Pritzker and Chinese concern Hony Capital, plans to raise $500M in an IPO in the first quarter of 2018. It’s been known that STX has been talking about mounting an IPO for some time, and has been steadily growing its business over the past year.
The company was valued at $1.5B last year, however, The Wall Street Journal today reported the company could be valued as high as $3.5B after the IPO. Since its inception, STX has been modeling itself to become a major entertainment company along the lines Viacom.
In August 2016, China’s Tencent and Hong Kong telecom giant PCCW led an investment round in STX with the aim of building out its studio. That included a TV division, international distribution and an acquisition unit to bring in digital media companies. In March of this year, they even announced an animation and family division to be kicked off by the Uglydoll movie, which is based on the David Horvath line of plush characters and will be directed by Robert Rodriguez.
While the company has had a number of box offices misses, it scored big with the 2016 comedy release Bad Moms, which amassed a total of $183.9M at the worldwide box office and spawned a sequel. Bad Moms Christmas will be released this November.
The company has been methodically adding divisions over the years and hiring top executives, including former Universal chairman Adam Fogelson as chairman of its STXFilms division and former Universal international chief David Kosse who helped open their UK office.
The company launched initially by entering into direct agreements with U.S. exhibitors to ensure screens for its movies, which was unconventional. It then sealed a multi-year Home Entertainment deal with Universal and produced a 13-episode series State of Affairs, which it sold to NBC. More recently it entered into a three-year marketing and distribution deal with EuropaCorp, and also acquired Surreal, a VR content producer, last year. It recently launched a VR Channel with Google Daydream to distribute original VR content.
Upcoming film projects from STX include The Foreigner starring Jackie Chan and directed by Martin Campbell which will be released next on Oct. 13. Other projects include The Happytime Murders starring Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph, I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer and Michelle Williams, an untitled romantic comedy for Anne Hathaway, Gringo with Amazon Studios starring Charlize Theron, Second Act, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and directed by Peter Segal and Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain.
TV projects being developed include a Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians) scripted series.