Sugar23 Raises $30M To Expand Into New Biz Platforms; Numerous Hires Made To Handle Growth

Michael Sugar Sugar23

Michael Sugar has positioned his Sugar23 management/production business to become the next company to raise new coin to grow and diversify its business. Sugar23 has raised $30 million in funding earmarked to venture beyond its core production business beyond production and into myriad other businesses.

Sugar, who came up in management and production and whose credits include Best Picture-winner Spotlight, signaled some of the changes earlier this week when Meredith Wechter exited as WME partner and agent of such clients as Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves and Succession star Jeremy Strong,, with rumors that she will join Sugar as partner in the management ranks of Sugar23. They are figuring out how her clients will intersperse into Sugar23. Sugar’s own clients include Steven Soderbergh, Josh Singer, Allan Loeb, Leslye Headland, Cary Fukunaga, Alena Smith, Jack Amiel & Michael Begler, Carl Bernstein, Greg Poirier and Dan Patrick.

Led by SWaN & Legend Venture Partners and MRC, Sugar23 has bolstered its personnel, bringing in Dan Riedler as Chief Financial Officer, Evan Sils as General Counsel, Angela Ledgerwood as Editorial Director of Sugar23 Books, Mike Mayer as Head of Sugar23 Podcast Group, Cliff Spence as Chief Product Officer, and Shelsea Jacobs as Head of Packaging.

These senior execs join previous hired that include Head of Production, Ashley Zalta, and Head of Unscripted, Emmy Award-nominated producer David Hillman. Riedler and Sils join Sugar and Zalta as Sugar23 Partners.

“The past several months have allowed for a vibrant internal focus on building out the operational side of our business enabling us to fully support our vision for 2021 and beyond,” said Sugar. “With a robust infrastructure and our stellar team in place, we are cultivating unique opportunities and creating differentiated value. The result is an integrated media platform built around our exceptional capabilities and partnerships.

Riedler, a former exec at Warner Bros and Bain & Co consultant and head of M&A Legal for Credit Suisse, joins Sugar23 with more than 15 years of experience working across media, entertainment and technology. Sils has two decades of corporate law experience. Ledgerwood, a former magazine editor and books columnist, is the editorial director of Sugar23 Books, a publishing imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).

Shelsea Jacobs spent a decade as a talent agent, most recently at CAA before joining to spearhead Sugar23’s Branded Content division, and helping with packaging.

Among the projects in development for Sugar23 are Last of the Mohicans for HBO Max, The Todd Phillips-directed movie on Hulk Hogan for Netflix, Dickinson for Apple TV + and an adaptation of Josephine’s War with Truly*Adventurous.

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