×

Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs Media Venture Will Be Named Candle, Company Confirms Westbrook Deal

Kevin Mayer Tom Staggs - SPAC
Courtesy of Forest Road Co.

The new media venture run by former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs finally has a name.

It has been christened Candle Media, the pair announced on Tuesday while confirming their deal to buy a minority stake in Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc. The Smiths’ company produced the Oscar-contender “King Richard,” the Netflix hit “Cobra Kai” and the Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk.” Sources say that Candle spent $60 million for a stake that gives them just over 10% of the company. That values Westbrook at roughly $600 million.

In a statement, Mayer and Staggs praised Westbrook “…as a home for world-class creators that is built for the digital age – which fully aligns with our company’s vision for the future of media.”

Candle is backed by venture capital giant Blackstone. Staggs previously served as Disney’s chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chairman of its parks and resorts business. Mayer oversaw Disney’s streaming businesses, orchestrating the launch of Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.

In a statement, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith said that joining forces with Mayer, Staggs and Blackstone would help their global expansion plans.

“Westbrook is the realization of our dream to give artists from all backgrounds equal opportunities to pursue their creative visions and share their stories,” the Smiths said.

In a release, Mayer, Staggs and Blackstone said Candle, “reflects the light of creativity at the heart of its model as an independent, creator-friendly home for cutting-edge, high-quality, category-defining brands and franchises.”

Candle previously spent $900 million to buy Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and $3 billion to buy Moonbug Entertainment, the children’s entertainment company behind such shows as “CoComelon,” “Blippi” and “Little Baby Bum.” At every step, the company has been referred to as an unnamed media venture. Well, no longer.

Hollywood meet Candle.