Courtesy of ATTN:
Candle Media, the next-gen media roll-up play run by ex-Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, announced the acquisition of ATTN:, a media company that produces short-form news and topical entertainment content aimed at Gen Z and millennial audiences.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed. According to a source familiar with the pact, Candle Media is paying about $100 million for ATTN: in cash and stock; the deal could be worth up to $150 million with additional earn-out provisions. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days.
Candle said it will help provide capital, scale and expertise to accelerate ATTN:’s growth across social media, TV and streaming services, in addition to growing its publishing, brand studio, creative strategy and agency services.
Candle Media, formed last year and backed by private-equity firm Blackstone, has announced three other acquisitions to date: Kids’ content aggregator Moonbug Entertainment in December 2021 for $3 billion; Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine for $900 million; and Faraway Road, producer of Netflix’s “Fauda,” for under $50 million. The company also took minority stake in Westbrook, the media company co-founded by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith.
With Candle’s acquisition, ATTN: co-founders Matthew Segal and Jarrett Moreno, along with the company’s existing senior management team, will continue to oversee day-to-day operations, original content and production.
In announcing the deal, Mayer and Staggs said: “ATTN: has a deep, digital-native understanding for how to cut through the noise and reach today’s audiences through engaging content on social media. We are excited for them to join Candle and provide the benefits of their talented team’s expertise across our brands and franchises.”
ATTN:’s Segal and Moreno said in a statement: “ATTN:’s mission has always been to use creative and clever storytelling to make important issues more digestible for mass audiences. Partnering with Candle and their growing, talented team of creators will allow us to further this mission in a whole new way, accelerating our growth and reaching even more people with what we create.”
Founded in 2014, L.A.-based ATTN: (pronounced “attention”) had raised about $37 million in funding from investors including Ryan Seacrest, Bill Maher, Ross Levinsohn, Evolution Media Capital, Main Street Advisors, Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan, and ELY Capital managing partner Hope Taitz.
ATTN: has created original series for Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitch, as well as for networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, MTV, Freeform and Discovery and streaming services Hulu and Apple TV. The company’s brand studio and in-house creative agency have worked with clients including Amazon, Ford, Google, Intel, Mattel, P&G, Target and T-Mobile.
Last year, ATTN: launched a TikTok studio to connect brands and influencers. TikTok inked a deal with ATTN: for a year-long partnership to run its social-good account, TikTok for Good, which was recently renewed for a second year.
Variety's Todd Spangler contributed to this post.