In line with the hugely successful 2022 San Diego Comic-Con, Entertainment Earth today announced a strategic investment in the company by IVEST Consumer Partners (IVEST) and Sam Zell’s private investment firm Equity Group Investments (EGI). IVEST and EGI Entertainment are partnering with Earth’s founders and senior management team, who will continue to lead the business and maintain a significant ownership stake in the company. The partnership provides additional capital for growth and strategic support for the organization as it continues to grow rapidly. IVEST co-founder and managing partner George Jones, who is also the former chairman of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will serve as chairman of the board. Other board members include Entertainment Earth Chief Executive Officer Aaron Leibovitz, Chairman Jason Leibovitz and Chief Technology Officer Aaron Lippmann; IVEST partner Chris Munyan; and EGI Managing Directors Rahul Sen and Mike Leahy.
Founded in 1996 by brothers Aaron and Jason Leibovitz, Entertainment Earth is a leading online retailer and wholesaler of licensed collectibles, including action figures, clothing, figurines, prop reproductions, games, vinyl figures and toys. IVEST and EGI’s investment will build on the tremendous foundation built by the Entertainment Earth team over nearly three decades and will further accelerate the company’s growth.
George Jones, co-founder and managing partner of IVEST, said, “As we studied the collectibles landscape, Entertainment Earth impressed us with the company’s unique customer- and partner-first approach and data-driven innovation to address the market.” did.” “Aaron and Jason bring passion, creativity and expertise – a winning combination to expand business and accelerate growth opportunities.”
Aaron Leibovitz, CEO of Entertainment Earth, said, “While we have already achieved great heights, seeing those dreams come true requires partners who align with our vision, bring complementary skill sets and create long-term strategic take the approach.” “This partnership allows us to continue to grow the company with additional, innovative ideas and important contacts in the industry.”
Entertainment Earth brings deep expertise and long-established partnerships within its vast network of direct customers, online and brick-and-mortar retailers, content creators and toy makers, which has proven to be a win-win strategy.
“We are impressed by the Entertainment Earth leadership team and their passion for innovation, growth and operational excellence – essential elements of a business that EGI sees in all of our investments,” said EGI President Mark Sotir. “This is an exciting partnership for EGI, and we look forward to working with Entertainment Earth and IVEST to create new opportunities for its employees, customers and partners.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Entertainment Earth
Based in Simi Valley, California, Entertainment Earth is a leader in the collectibles and toy industry. The company offers unparalleled expertise and an ever-expanding selection of thousands of licensed products, ranging from popular toys and gift items to high-end limited edition pieces and hard-to-find collectibles. Through its wholesale division, EE Distribution, the company enables small retailers and distributors around the world to shop in bulk and expand their business. Entertainment Earth also designs and develops its own branded toys and collectibles from well-known licenses. It has exhibited for more than 20 years at San Diego Comic-Con, the world’s most prestigious gathering of pop-culture enthusiasts. For more information visit www.entertainmentearth.com.
About IVEST Consumer Partners
IVEST Consumer Partners was founded in 2013 as an operationally focused private equity firm, with investments focused in the consumer sector. IVEST is a team of world class operators with an excellent track record of growing consumer businesses. Their knowledge and experience span a wide range of consumer categories, which they leverage to add strategic value to their portfolio companies by supporting management in achieving objectives. For more information visit www.ivestconsumer.com.
About Equity Group Investments
Equity Group Investments (EGI), founded more than 50 years ago by Sam Zell, has a long track record of building public and private businesses, including the origins and growth of multi-billion dollar companies. EGI’s flexible capital and open investment mandate enable the firm to conduct opportunistic transactions across industries and geographies across the capital structure, at any point in the economic cycle. EGI’s current portfolio includes investments in transportation and logistics, energy, retail, waste and infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, agribusiness and real estate. For more information visit www.egizell.com.
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