Nay 9, 2022
A consortium including former Disney CEO Bob Iger, sports agent Rich Paul, eBay, and the film and television production company Chernin Group is buying a 25% stake in toy maker Funko, reports CNBC.
The investment, which is worth $263 million, or $21 per share, means Chernin will add two directors to Funko’s board. Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin and Iger will serve as advisors to the board.
Shares of Funko were initially halted on the news, but late on Thursday, May 5, resumed trading after hours—jumping more than 20% to around $21 per share.
“We believe Funko is significantly undervalued in the public markets and at this highly attractive entry price provides a runway of opportunity and growth potential,” Chernin said in a statement Thursday. “There are many areas of identifiable growth across content, commerce, marketplaces, consumer products and technology that should drive substantial increases to Funko’s performance.”
In addition to his investment business, Chernin produces television and films through Chernin Entertainment, which launched titles such as “New Girl,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Greatest Showman” and “Ford v Ferrari.” Previously, he served as president and COO of News Corp; and chair and CEO of the Fox Group, where he helped greenlight “Titanic” and “Avatar,” two of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Iger is well-known in the entertainment industry for leading the charge at Disney to acquire Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and, most recently, 20th Century Fox. Many of the characters from franchises within these brands can be found as part of Funko’s product line.
Paul, CEO and founder of Klutch Sports Group and head of sports at United Talent Agency, is expected to bring his expertise in the sports and music sectors to help advance Funko’s product expansion in those areas. He represents LeBron James.
As part of the investment, eBay and Funko agreed to make eBay the preferred secondary market for Funko products. They will also team up for exclusive product releases.
“Funko sits at the intersection of pop culture, passion and collectibles, with one of the most engaged communities of enthusiasts,” said Stefanie Jay, eBay chief business and strategy officer, in a statement. “Building on the incredible appetite for Funko products on eBay, we look forward to what our companies can do together.”
Research contact: @CNBC