Former MGM chief Gary Barber and Lantern Entertainment launch Spyglass Media
Former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Chief Executive Gary Barber has a new job.
The veteran South African-born executive has teamed with Lantern Entertainment, which bought the assets of the defunct Weinstein Co. last year, to create a new company, Spyglass Media Group, the companies said Wednesday.
Barber, 61, will serve as chairman and CEO of the new Century City-based venture, which is backed by majority owner Lantern, Italian distributor Eagle Pictures and British cinema giant Cineworld Group, which owns Regal Entertainment.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Lantern Capital Partners, the Dallas private equity firm led by Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic, has been looking for a leader to grow its nascent entertainment business since it acquired the remains of the Weinstein Co. out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July for $289 million.
The launch of Spyglass comes about a year after Barber was suddenly ousted from MGM after a dispute with the board over whether to sell the company. MGM Chairman Kevin Ulrich wanted to keep building the business without selling, people familiar with the matter said at the time. Barber joined MGM in 2010, following the storied studio’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Spyglass Media takes its name from Spyglass Entertainment, the company Barber co-founded in 1998.
As the head of Spyglass Media, Barber will develop and produce content for movie theaters, cable channels and streaming services. Spyglass will also own and oversee the assets Lantern acquired from the Weinstein Co., which sought protection from creditors after its founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by multiple women.
Those assets include a roughly 250-film library with Oscar winners such as “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist,” and commercial hits such as “Inglourious Basterds” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” Lantern recently had a hit with “The Upside,” a Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston dramedy held over from the Weinstein era that was released in partnership with STX Entertainment. “The Upside” grossed $104 million in the U.S. and Canada.
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