The investors led by the Najafi Companies have recently closed their deal to purchase “STX Entertainment,” which is the beleaguered film and television company behind “Bad Moms” and the “My Spy.” The sale ended STX’s unhappy union with Eros Now, the Indian media company which was merged within 2020.
The goal was to go public, which STX and Eros jointly did, but to the little investor fanfare. STX had previously tried and then abandoned an effort to go to the public on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2018, citing the unfavorable market conditions.
The cash-strapped independent studio has attracted some late 11th-hour interest from Lionsgate. Still, a potential deal had collapsed, leaving the Najafi Companies, a Phoenix-based private-equity firm run by “Jahm Najafi.” Najafi is reportedly the vice-chairman of the Phoenix Suns.
Investment firms AS Birch Grove LP and the 777 Partners helped finance the deal for STX. The group bid $173 million for the company in December.
STX was formed back in 2014 to make the kinds of the mid-budget comedies, thrillers, and dramas that major studios had previously largely abandoned in favor of the franchise fare and superhero flicks. But STX struggled to field enough hits afterward. It had made a few winners, such as “Hustlers,” but also financial losers like that of “The Free State of Jones,” “The Happytime Murders,” and “Uglydolls” had also far outnumbered the hits. That had left the company struggling under some $150 million in a debt trap and needing a deal to help get it some more liquidity. It appears to have been found out that in Najafi.