Home of the Godzilla franchise, Detective Pikachu, Netflix’s adaptation of Lost in Space and the forthcoming Amazon series Carnival Row starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, Legendary Entertainment is owned by Dalian Wanda Group. According to Bloomberg, Colony has been in talks to buy a minority stake and the investment would be significantly lower than the $3.5 billion Wanda acquired it for in 2016.
The report surfaced at the same time The New York Times divulged a long-running investigation by federal prosecutors into the activities of Barrack and others connected with President Donald Trump. At the heart of the inquiry is the question of whether Barrack, who has extensive business activity in the Middle East, illegally tried to influence American policy at the direction of foreign interests. Barrack has been interviewed by investigators at his request, the Times said, but the questioning has ended.
Legendary, meanwhile, would become an investment via a newly created fund called Colony Media Partners, marking a return to media for the private equity firm. In 2016, it sold Miramax to Qatar-based BeIN Media Group and then made a bid, later withdrawn, for the Weinstein Co. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may also throw its hat in the ring and invest in Legendary via the fund, after exploring a potential $700 million stake in Legendary last year. Despite all these talks, nothing has been solidified.
Word of the potential Legendary deal and federal prosecutors’ scrutiny comes after Barrack, who was chairman of President Trump’s inaugural committee, revealed that he would step down as CEO of Colony in 2021.