Boutique bank Raine Group taking minority stake

“South Park” creators and exec producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone have teamed up with boutique merchant bank The Raine Group to create a new independent studio housing the duo’s creative work and future projects.

Raine will take a minority stake in the venture, called Important Studios, provide advice and help finance future projects. The studio “plans to continue the growth of the ‘South Park’ and ‘Book of Mormon’ franchises, create new content across different media, and expand distribution of Parker and Stone’s work worldwide,” the partners said in a statement Monday.

Raine, which is focused exclusively on entertainment, digital media and sports, has been quietly amassing one of the most eclectic portfolios in the business, including Vice Media, Jagex and OpenSky, and has been front-and-center in several key industry deals. Raine represented Dick Clark Prods. in the recent sale to Guggenheim Partners, and advised Current TV, just sold to Al Jazeera

“Trey and Matt are unique content creators, having built two iconic global media brands. They have established themselves as thought leaders in the entertainment and digital world, while at the same time using satire to make their audience aware of critical social issues,” said Raine co-founder Joe Ravitch.

“Raine’s thesis has always been to align ourselves directly with extraordinary content creators, and we are excited to partner with Trey and Matt to create new global entertainment properties,” said co-founder Jeff Sine.

“Having worked with several different studios over the years, we came to realize that our favorite people in the world are ourselves,” said Parker and Stone. “We hope to work with ourselves for a long time and are excited to now work with ourselves in a much greater capacity.”

“South Park” began airing in 1997 on Comedy Central and has won four Emmys and a Peabody. Hit musical “The Book of Mormon” is completing its second year on Broadway, launched its first national tour in August, and a third company in Chicago in December. The show opens in London in March.

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