Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud And Hartbeat Productions Make a Fusion And Get A $100 Million Investment From Abry Partners

Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud And Hartbeat Productions Make a Fusion And Get A $100 Million Investment ...

Two entertainment companies, one of whom is fusion into a single comedy-centered corporation called Hartbeat.

Peacock, a partner at Abry, will continue to join the Hartbeat board of directors, as part of NBCUniversal's multi-year, first-look partnership with Laugh Out Loud in 2020.

Thailand Randolph, who led the capital raise and assumed the positions of president and COO of Laugh Out Loud and Hartbeat Productions, has been boosted to the CEO of the new company. Bryan Smiley, the CEO of Hartbeat Productions, and Jeff Clanagan, both, will spearhead distribution, with each having both the designation of president. Hartbeat Productions co-founder Leland Wigington will lead a fresh production banner.

Hartbeat intends to leverage its latest funding to expand existing brands and franchises and create new capabilities capable of connecting with global audiences, according to a press release. It already has a wide spectrum of projects established at a host of digital platforms, streaming services, and networks, as well as a wide and avid social media following.

"The creation of Hartbeat and the acquisition of Abry represent a new era in comedy," Hart said. "This all started with a mission to keep the world laughing together, and I'm so proud our teams have delivered on this, putting in the hard work to develop the most innovative and inclusive comedic storytelling company."

"In an industry that loves to say no and close doors, I've been bullish about taking our own path and relying on our success to open doors for others. With this merger and funding, were taking the new concept we have in entertainment to the next level, posing opportunities for a new generation of comedic talent. I can't wait to bring more comedians, experiences, and stories with humor and heart."

Randolph's newest and enhanced team is "creating an end-to-end entertainment company that enables, markets, and distributes culturally relevant IP and experiences in comedy and beyond. The merger and capital increase help us further scale and invest in comedic entertainment, resulting in increasing demand content and experiences at the intersection of comedy and culture."

Hartbeat has three divisions: a cinema for film and television projects; a media unit dedicated to events, gaming, music publishing, and a distribution network; and a branded entertainment shop Pulse. In a new context, the LOL! Network will continue to be the company's flagship consumer brand.

Hartbeat's portfolio includes top-performing Netflix films Fatherhood and True Story, movie hit Night School, and a brand-branded content campaign, including Lyft Legends, among other things. The company has established a number of venues for the growing demand of comedic talents, including Dave, the FX series. The merger also included more than 60 projects with 15 business partners.

Hartbeat was advised on the transaction by Evolution Media Capital and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, led by entertainment group partner Sophia Yen.

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