Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Mubadala buys 9 percent of media and entertainment bank Raine Group

By Adam Schreck, AP
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Abu Dhabi deal with Raine deepens Hollywood ties

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An Abu Dhabi state investment fund said Thursday it is buying a piece of a young investment house focused on sports and show business, upping the Gulf city state’s bet on the entertainment industry.

The oil-rich emirate’s Mubadala Development Co. said it would buy a 9 percent stake in The Raine Group to tap investment opportunities in the merchant bank’s specializations of media, entertainment and sports.

The deal will give Raine cash to grow its young business as it looks to capitalize on its ties to one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Abu Dhabi and Mubadala could help to shape the sports and entertainment sectors and we are thrilled to work with them,” Raine co-founder Jeff Sine said in a statement. “Having a strong capital partner such as Mubadala is an exciting way for us to position our business globally.”

Sine and partner Joe Ravitch, former bankers focused on the media industry at UBS and Goldman Sachs, founded Raine last year.

Raine’s financial backers include William Morris Endeavor, the talent agency formed last year by the merger of the 112-year-old Hollywood stalwart William Morris Agency and Endeavor, a far younger firm co-founded by Ari Emanuel, brother to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and the inspiration behind the character Ari Gold on HBO’s “Entourage.”

Thursday’s deal comes on the last day of a three-day media summit in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi, which is investing heavily to establish itself as a regional media hub in the Middle East.

The city-state, which serves as the capital of the United Arab Emirates federation, recently established a government-backed media zone and set up a company to produce and finance feature films.

Mubadala’s chief operating officer, Waleed al-Mokarrab al-Muhairi said the Raine deal would give the company opportunities to invest further in the digital media, entertainment and sport sectors.

“Their ambition, expertise and vision are precisely the traits we seek in our partners,” he said.

Mubadala’s other investments include stakes in sports car maker Ferrari and private equity firm Carlyle Group.

will not be displayed