Providence Equity invests $200M in Chernin Group

PROVIDENCE EQUITY Partners - above, Jonathan Nelson, chief executive officer, above - purchased a minority stake in the Chernin Group for $200 million.
Posted 4/23/12

LOS ANGELOS - Peter Chernin, former chief operating officer of News Corp., sold a minority stake in his company to Providence Equity Partners for $200 million, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

Providence representatives will join the board of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Chernin Group and Chernin, 60, will become a senior adviser to Providence, the companies said today in an e-mailed statement.

The investment puts a $500 million valuation on Chernin’s company, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The companies will work together to invest in, acquire, build and operate media assets, with a focus on the U.S. and India, Indonesia and China, according to the statement.

Proceeds from the transaction will be used primarily for Chernin Group investments.

The company’s assets include Chernin Entertainment, producer of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” film and “The New Girl” television series.

“Our goal is to build a global, diversified media company,” Chernin said in the statement. “Providence brings an exceptional track record of identifying and supporting the growth of innovative media and entertainment companies. With their additional expertise and resources, we intend to expand our company across all fronts.”

The Providence-based private-equity company is an investor in, the online video service championed by Chernin while he was at News Corp. (NWSA) (NWSA) He left News Corp. in July 2009.

Providence explored bidding for Yahoo! Inc. with Chernin, who would have taken a chairman-level role if the offer had succeeded, people with knowledge of the situation said in October.

“We have worked closely with Peter for many years and have tremendous respect for his extraordinary creative savvy and world-class business acumen,” Jonathan Nelson, chief executive officer of Providence, said in the statement.

“We share the same outlook and enthusiasm for the significant media and entertainment investment opportunities around the world,” he added.

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