Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. backs Todd Boehly’s buyout plan

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. voted on Thursday to accept a proposal from interim chief executive Todd Boehly that will effectively transform the non-profit international journalist group into a for-profit corporation.

The new private company will manage its Golden Globes assets while maintaining the charitable and philanthropic programs in a separate non-profit company.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“This is a historic moment for the HFPA and the Golden Globes,” Helen Hoehne, President of the HFPA, said in a statement. “We have taken a critical step forward in changing and adapting to this increasingly competitive economic landscape for both the awards and journalism market. … We are pleased to move forward with an assignment to ensure we continue our support for increasing diversity in all areas and sustaining our life-changing charitable and philanthropic efforts.”

Boehly, chairman of private equity firm Eldridge Industries, the parent company of longtime Globes producer Dick Clark Productions (now known as MRC Live & Alternative), unveiled his plan during a members’ meeting in April.

Under his proposal, Eldridge would form a new company and acquire the Golden Globes’ assets on the basis of an “independent outside valuation firm,” according to the plan’s bullet points, reviewed by The Times. Proceeds would be used to fund the HFPA’s charitable wing.

The Dodgers co-owner recently made headlines with his record-breaking purchase of Premier League football club Chelsea FC for $4.93 billion.

The association’s tax exemption would be abolished, and the new association would give its members “the opportunity to share in its profits and thus share in the success of the Globes”.

The plan also requires final approval from the California Attorney General.

Under the agreement, HFPA members would receive $75,000 annually for several years, according to two members who declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

The move comes as the embattled association has been working to reform and get back on track with Hollywood.

Last year, NBC halted airing of the 2022 Globes show, a contingent of powerful publicists boycotted the organization, and studios like Netflix and WarnerMedia broke ties after a Times probe revealed questions about the group’s ethical and financial failings that none of this was the case then 87 members were Black.

Since then, the nonprofit HFPA has implemented a series of reforms, including introducing new bylaws, banning gifts and adding 21 new members, six of whom are black.

It has also announced a number of partnerships, including with the NAACP and the World Bank.

Earlier this year, members were divided over whether to change her nonprofit status. In an email to members in April, Luca Celada, a former CEO representing Italy, openly questioned Boehly’s plan, calling it a “corporate takeover” and a play on the group’s “intellectual property”. HFPA officials denied these claims.

In May, Pacific Coast Entertainment, a group led by former film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, made a multi-million dollar bid to buy the Golden Globes.

The offer was made directly to HFPA members and included payment of a $120,000 annual salary guaranteed for five years, a one-time $100,000 Pandemic Relief Grant, and the creation of an endowment of $5 million per year, a term sheet audited by The Times.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-07-28/hollywood-foreign-press-assn-backs-todd-boehlys-plan-to-by-turn-the-group-into-a-for-profit-venture Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. backs Todd Boehly’s buyout plan

Sarah Ridley

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