RedBird Capital Partners, the investment firm with stakes in David Ellison’s Skydance Media and the YES Network, is opening a West Coast office in Los Angeles and has hired longtime top Goldman Sachs banker Andy Gordon to lead it.
He starts in February as partner charged with extending the firm’s expertise in media, sports and technology.
Gordon recently retired from Goldman after 35 years where he was global chairman of Investment Banking and global head of media and telecommunications. It’s where he met Gerry Cardinale, who founded RedBird in 2014.
“I have known Andy for over two decades, going back to our time together at Goldman Sachs where he worked on some of the most innovative and transformative transactions in media, entertainment, sports and technology,” Cardinale said. “Andy’s depth of experience and relationships … fit well with our own and will help us continue to source and execute the type of creative investing and business building at the core of the RedBird investment mandate.”
Gordon advised RedBird on its $575 million IPO of RedBall Acquisition Corp, a sports-focused Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC. RedBall is in talks to acquire John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group, which owns English soccer team Liverpool and Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox.
SPACs are basically publicly traded piles of cash that merge with real companies, which then also become public in a process that’s faster and less complicated than a traditional IPO. They tend to proliferate during periods of instability new ones are popping up every day.
Gordon also worked on RedBird’s investment in Skydance alongside the Ellison family, Tencent and CJ Entertainment. He’s advised enterprises from Walt Disney and AT&T to Netflix, Activision, Live Nation and the LA Rams, among others.
“I am excited to begin the next chapter of my career at RedBird,” said Gordon. “Never has the confluence of rights, content and technology offered such transformative opportunities. I can think of no better place than working with Gerry and RedBird’s distinguished investment team from our new West Coast office to bring this type of entrepreneurial investing and company building DNA to the industries I have been advising for more than thirty years.”
Gordon built up Goldman’s West Region Investment Banking business starting in 1998 and served as the founding head of its media practice in 2002. He’s founding chairman of the Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles and co-chairman emeritus and trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
RedBird has about $4 billion in capital under management. Deadline reported late last month that Kevin Mayer, longtime Walt Disney dealmaker and shorter-lived TikTok CEO, was discussing possible opportunities with the firm.