A24 Was Reportedly On The Market For $3 Billion And Apple Apparently ‘Kicked The Tires’ On It

A24 may not have the history or name recognition of studios like Warner Bros. or Paramount, but the indie film and TV company—which was founded in 2012—has been the creative powerhouse behind some of the most critically acclaimed and buzzed-about movies of the past decade. In its relatively short lifespan, A24 movies have received more than two dozen Oscar nominations (and a handful of wins) for movies like Ex Machina (2014), Room (2015), Moonlight (2016), Lady Bird (2017), and The Lighthouse (2019). On the TV side, John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch, Euphoria, Ramy, and At Home With Amy Sedaris are all A24 shows. And as Variety is now reporting, Apple recently considered buying the company for somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 to $3 billion.

While no one is going on the record to discuss the details, or even confirm that these conversations happened, Variety writes that:

“Possible scenarios for a deal have included merging with standalone players or an outright absorption by a tech giant. A24’s tires were kicked by Apple, with whom it signed a multi-year film slate deal in 2018 that has yielded titles like Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks. Some sources said the Apple acquisition talks happened closer to the slate announcement.”

While neither company commented on the rumors, some high-up sources did tell Variety that A24 executives have been meeting with a handful of potential buyers over the past 18 months. While it seems as if the company is doing well enough on its own with releases like Hereditary (2018), Midsommar (2019), and Uncut Gems (2019), paying big bucks for a studio’s carefully curated collection of top-tier content is all the rage these days. Especially if you’re in the streaming game (like, say, Apple) and have a channel to fill with programming.

What A24 may lack in quantity of content, it makes up for in quality. As Variety writes, “The company’s marketing machine has dazzled Hollywood for the near-decade, deftly turning unknown festival films into buzzy hipster bait—and luring filmgoers with tie-ins like the pop-up shop around Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara’s A Ghost Story which sold stark white bedsheets, or its recent vanity publishing of the book The Story by A’Ziah King, which bound the 150-tweet thread behind the A24 film Zola into a book.”

The company’s value, say some insiders, is in its creativity. “You never hear a word about their flops, and they definitely have them,” one of the company’s competitors, who preferred to be quoted anonymously, told Variety. “All anyone cares about is what they’re doing next.” At this point, it doesn’t seem like “being sold to Apple” is what they’re doing next—but you never know.

(Via Variety)