LionTree CEO Aryeh Bourkoff is a grasp dealmaker.
However the distinguished funding banker isn’t content material to merely facilitate M&A transactions. His loftier purpose is to assist rewrite the narrative for Big Media at a time of large transition in the business.
As Bourkoff explains on the newest episode of the Selection podcast “Strictly Enterprise,” the key to LionTree’s success since its launch in 2012 has been its work with media moguls and buyers alike to contemplate strategic options to the establishment.
The large query at current is “how do you are taking segments of the media business and reorient them to a greater narrative that has strategic worth that unlocks upside and minimizes draw back to create a extra defensible asset combine,” Bourkoff says.
Certainly, each main media conglomerate is sizing up its holdings, and there was a push to streamline and divest non-core belongings at AT&T, Disney, ViacomCBS and elsewhere. Firms want to look far out on the horizon and decide what they want — and don’t want — of their arsenal to compete.
“There are issues which have to get solved,” he says. “It’s not simply dealmaking for dealmaking’s sake.” CEOs and shareholders have to contemplate “what does the shopper urge for food appear to be at the finish of the 12 months and the way do you place your organization for that?”
Bourkoff weighs in on how the pandemic has up-ended the market and what meaning in the long term. In the short-term, nevertheless, he doesn’t see the public well being disaster as placing the breaks on media’s realignment.
“There’s a sure frenetic nature to dealmaking coming in 2021,” Bourkoff predicts. “In the first half of the 12 months, with the restoration embedded with some tailwinds — I feel it is going to be certainly one of our busiest years.”
The turmoil as the business strikes from a wholesale-retail mannequin in pay TV — the engine of earnings for many congloms — to direct-to-consumer platforms with international attain may be sufficient to scare off informal buyers. However for savvy buyers, it’s an ideal time to discover alternative, in Bourkoff’s view.
“It’s the reinvention that’s attention-grabbing to funding, not the static. Stagnation leads to decay; movement leads to worth,” he says. “To spend money on that reinvention — that’s the complete sport. That’s what’s most attention-grabbing about the media business — it’s all the time re-inventing itself. It has to.”
Podcasting, gaming and different subjects have been touched on throughout the wide-ranging interview.
Bourkoff sees strong progress forward for the podcasting enterprise. “Audio has been in our view rising loads sooner than even video and we expect it’s going to proceed to achieve this.”
Gaming and associated actions have accelerated throughout the lockdown circumstances of the pandemic. LionTree is learning the sector, he says, “not simply video video games as an exercise however video video games as a meta-verse. Is ‘Fortnite’ the new web?”
Furthermore, Bourkoff sees potential for gaming and Hollywood to change into extra intently aligned in the content material area. “If there was a film studio on the market, I’d wager on a gaming firm wanting to purchase it as a lot as a media firm or a know-how platform,” he says.
The energy of the capital markets will assist the business get by the transition to streaming-based platforms. “It’s not simply debt financing being robust, however fairness financing being robust, most likely as robust because it’s been in my lifetime,” he says.
Bourkoff supplied a number of predictions for “2021-plus,” as he jokes, in step with the argot of streamers. Amongst them: “Music concert events and festivals will come again sooner than motion pictures” and “the sports business will probably be utterly realigned and adjusted.”
“Strictly Enterprise” is Selection’s weekly podcast that includes conversations with business leaders about the enterprise of media and leisure. A brand new episode debuts every Wednesday and might be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.