A controlling stake in Tribeca Enterprises, Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s festival parent, has been taken by James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Attention Capital, whose CEO is former Fox executive Joe Marchese.
The stake used to be held by the Madison Square Garden Company, which paid $22.5 million for a 50% position in Tribeca in 2014.
Under the deal, Lupa Systems is acquiring the stake from MSG, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff and other investors. Lupa and Attention will “partner with Tribeca’s existing management team to support and grow the business,” according to the official announcement.
No financial terms were revealed for the transaction.
The main asset under the Tribeca tent is the namesake film festival, whose 19th edition will be held next April. The company has also launched an annual TV festival in the fall. It also produces branded content through Tribeca Studios.
For Murdoch, the deal signals his new direction since breaking from his family to launch Lupa in March. The private investment firm has invested in various digital businesses.
Marchese ran sales operations at 21st Century Fox while Murdoch was CEO. He founded Attention Capital with Nick Bell and Ashlyn Gentry.
“We are excited about working with Jane and Bob to help grow the unique Tribeca brand,” Murdoch said. “When Tribeca was founded after 9/11, they brought together a tremendous creative community to embark on mission-driven business with civic impact and support for storytellers at its core. It is a real privilege to partner with this talented team to enhance and grow that mission.”
Rosenthal thanked MSG and its CEO, James Dolan, and noted that the festival will continue to use its venues, including the Beacon Theatre, for future festival events.
“Our new partnership with James and Joe will bring valuable expertise as Bob and I look to scale and strategically grow Tribeca,” she said.
“Iconic brands like Tribeca provide invaluable curation and human connection,” Marchese said. “This matters even more as consumers place a greater premium on their time and attention. This presents an immense opportunity to develop and scale valuable experiences globally.”
LionTree Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Tribeca in connection with the transaction. Paul Hastings represented Tribeca and certain of its owners. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represented Lupa. Attention relied upon Kimelberg PLLC.