Hello Sunshine Sold to New Media Company for $900 Million

Reese Witherspoon’s media business, Hello Sunshine, valued at about $900 million, has sold to a unnamed firm supported by Blackstone Group, which is spending $500+ million in cash to purchase shares from existing investors, including AT&T and Emerson Collective. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs will run the unnamed media company backed by Blackstone, while Witherspoon and chief executive Sarah Harden will join the board of the new venture and continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of Hello Sunshine. Continue reading Hello Sunshine Sold to New Media Company for $900 Million

Cloud Computing Leads to Growth in Data Center Real Estate

Brick-and-mortar real estate has cratered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The single exception is real estate linked to the significant growth in cloud computing: the buildings that house the servers that enable it. Goldman Sachs is investing up to $500 million in data center infrastructure. Private equity companies Blackstone and KKR also plan to invest in data centers, while, according to JLL, real estate investment trusts (REITs) focused on data centers had returns of 19 percent in the first half of 2020. Continue reading Cloud Computing Leads to Growth in Data Center Real Estate

Nielsen Will Split into Two Firms Following Activist Pressure

Following pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, Nielsen Holdings announced plans to split the media research firm into two independent publicly traded companies. Nielsen revealed it would create two separate companies by spinning off its Global Connect business. In a deal expected to close in 9-12 months, the two companies will be named Global Connect and Global Media. “Both the Global Media and Global Connect businesses are independently essential to the industries they serve, but each business has unique dynamics,” explained CEO David Kenny, who will stay on as chief exec of the Global Media business.  Continue reading Nielsen Will Split into Two Firms Following Activist Pressure

Gartner Labels AI a Megatrend, MIT Plans AI-Centric College

According to Gartner Research vice president Brian Burke, the democratization of AI is one of the five megatrends impacting emerging technologies. Although AI is currently in the “hype” stage of its evolution, to be followed by disillusionment, by 2020 it is expected to shape 80 percent of new technologies. Pursuant to that prediction, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released plans for a college of artificial intelligence to be built with $1 billion in investment, of which two-thirds has already been raised. Continue reading Gartner Labels AI a Megatrend, MIT Plans AI-Centric College