Neon, Distributor of Indie Films Darlings Like ‘Parasite,’ Questions the Sale

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Neon, the independent distributor behind Oscar-winning films such as ‘Parasite’ and ‘I, Tonya’, has tapped investment bank Raine to explore a sale of all or part of its business, according to three people familiar with the process.

There is no guarantee the process will result in a deal, two of the people said. It was not possible to know what the valuation of Neon might be. The company declined to comment.

Neon decided to test the market five months after A24, the forward-thinking studio behind ‘Lady Bird’, ‘Uncut Gems’ and ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, sold a minority stake for $225 million. which valued the company at around $2.5 billion. .

Hollywood has been a hotbed of deals in recent years as independent production companies and entertainment entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the streaming boom. Reese Witherspoon, LeBron James and Will Smith have all been courted by investors betting that the growing demand for movies and TV shows will eventually lead to big paydays.

Founded in 2017 by Tom Quinn and Tim League, who started the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema channel, Neon quickly established its independent credibility in Hollywood by identifying compelling storylines and demanding filmmakers in an era when franchise blockbusters starring super -comic book heroes are the norm.

Films acquired by Neon have won the Palme d’Or – the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honor – for the past three years. The company has embarked on theatrical distribution, bucking the trend of sending independent films to streaming services lest wider audiences find them inaccessible. “Parasite,” released in 2019, grossed $53 million at the box office in the United States and Canada and $263 million worldwide.

The business is profitable, a person familiar with the matter said.

Neon is looking to expand its distribution business internationally and explore TV and streaming opportunities. The company also plans to use any funding resulting from the fundraising process to bolster its already strong production operations.

The company’s next slate includes this year’s Palme d’Or winner, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s ‘Triangle of Sadness’ (‘Force Majeure’), and David Bowie’s documentary ‘Moonage Daydream’, which will be released in theaters next month.

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