Steve Golin’s Anonymous Content has found its new partner. The management/production company will align with Emerson Collective, the organization led by Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Apple giant Steve Jobs. More to come, but this is a surprising new direction for the company that won Best Picture with Spotlight and also produced The Revenant and the celebrated series Mr. Robot. Guggenheim Securities began shopping a minority stake in the company around the time these pictures won Oscars, and Mr. Robot the Golden Globe. Endemol, eOne and Paramount were among those in the mix. Terms were not disclosed.
Golin looks at this alliance as a path to new growth. His new partner has the resources. She is the widow of Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple. She manages the Laurene Powell Jobs Trust, formerly known as the Steven P. Jobs Trust, which owns 130–140 million shares of stock (7%–8%) in The Walt Disney Company, making her its largest shareholder. I’m told she sees an opportunity to build another Participant, a company that generates content with social relevance.
Anonymous Content said today its operations will continue to be directed by Golin and fellow partners Michael Sugar, Doug Wald, Eric Stern, and Diane Janicki.
Emerson Collective will be represented on Anonymous Content’s Board of Directors. The company has already supported several films that have tackled social issues and is the lead investor in MACRO, former WME partner agent Charles D. King’s media company focused on content for the black, Latino and multicultural markets.
“It is an honor for Anonymous Content to be partnering with Laurene Powell Jobs and the Collective team,” said Golin in announcing the deal. “Emerson Collective shares our commitment to creating high-quality content that both entertains and inspires, and we are eager to help further their bold initiatives. Our partnership will expand opportunities for our clients and Anonymous Content to highlight issues of social justice and produce projects that can serve as agents of change.”
This seemed an opportune time to partially cash out and continue to expand the company. Its TV division has generated Mr. Robot, The Knick and True Detective, and has 10 TV series on the air or that have been greenlighted; 25 managers working with 500 clients; five production executives; and a lucrative commercials production division that works with 65 clients. More companies are looking for private money; Imagine Entertainment, at the end of its Universal deal, raised $100 million earlier this year, for example.
“Emerson Collective believes in the power of storytelling to shape our culture and improve lives,” said Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective’s president. “We’re thrilled to partner with Steve and his talented team at Anonymous Content to create films, television and digital content that can inspire change.”
In addition to Guggenheim, Anonymous Content was advised by a team led by Robert Haymer at Latham & Watkins.