Magna Entertainment Makes Significant Investments in Entertainment, Media and Technology Companies and Projects

Feb 22, 2016, 09:12 ET from Magna

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Magna Entertainment, a division of the investment firm Magna, today announced a number of investments in entertainment companies, projects, and events. Russell Rieger, who has been with the company since 2014, leads the division with an accomplished career of senior executive roles in music and media companies.

Rieger has been focused on creating partnerships with talent; including artists, media executives and founders of new and disruptive technology companies – to finance and co-own content. To that end, Magna Entertainment is investing in and building platforms and projects that can be successful across various media and entertainment verticals over the long term.

Further distinguishing Magna's approach to the industry is its concentration on content curation; originating and packaging bespoke distribution opportunities that enable creative talent to align their artistic goals with commercial objectives.

Magna Entertainment has additionally entered into a strategic partnership with Daggerwing Content, a member of Omnicom Group Inc. Magna Entertainment will bring all its investment opportunities focusing on creative content to Daggerwing on a first look basis. The companies will together look for new ways brands can work with the projects.

Magna Entertainment's initial investments include:

  • A major position in PledgeMusic. A next generation direct-to-fan e-commerce platform, the company creates new monetization opportunities for music artists and is building a global community of music and pop culture fans. PledgeMusic was recently named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Music by Fast Company, and its artists include BB King, LCD Soundsystem, Lindsey Stirling, The Libertines, Cold War Kids, Rufus Wainwright, The Flaming Lips, 311, Def Leppard, Rob Zombie, and KT Tunstall.
  • "Bleed For This," a film based on the true story of five-time world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza, written and directed by Ben Younger (Prime, Boiler Room), and co-executive produced with Academy Award-Winner Martin Scorsese. "Bleed for This" is produced by Bruce Cohen, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Noah Kraft, and Chad A. Verdi. The film sparked a bidding war at last year's Cannes Film Festival and is set for release in the U.S. in 2016.
  • "The 50 Year Argument," is a documentary co-directed by Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi, which profiles the influential and provocative publication, The New York Review of Books. The film received widespread critical acclaim and premiered on HBO on September 29, 2014, where it remains available for streaming on its HBO GO and HBO NOW
  • Mass Lab, creators of the short-form video platform Ocho, which received an angel investment from Mark Cuban and early support from entertainment veteran Andy Schuon.

"Magna is the ideal business partner for artists, creative executives and businesses looking for innovative thinking, creative brand positioning and a fresh approach to traditional industries," said Joshua Sason, Magna Founder and CEO. "Given the immense changes in consumer behavior, advertising and technology, we believe there are incredible opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs who are able to combine creative sensibilities with business acumen. Russell brings a wide and effective network of partners and strategic insight to the ventures Magna invests in, adding immediate value and growth potential."

"The opportunity at Magna is tremendously exciting and I'm extremely grateful to Joshua for fostering an entrepreneurial climate which allows us to both invest in and develop companies that challenge existing methodologies and common assumptions," said Rieger. "Content has never been more in demand, nor more accessible through an abundance of new platforms. We bring a new perspective to investments in the space, but also communicate the needs of investors and the financial community to the corridors of the entertainment industry. We see ourselves as a bridge that is uniting both approaches and perspectives."

Russell is a Grammy-nominated senior record executive and experienced leader in the entertainment industry. He served as General Manager and EVP of Creative for Madonna's Maverick Records working with artists including Prodigy, Alanis Morissette, Muse, the Deftones as well as on movie soundtracks, including The Matrix. Prior to his work with Maverick, Russell was the GM of London Records where he worked with Portishead, Salt n' Pepa, Meat Puppets and Paul Weller. He began his career as a manager for Modern English, The Replacements, The Del Fuegos and Cyndi Lauper, and was a Founder partner at Pipeline, an entertainment branding and marketing company.

About Magna
Magna is an investment firm that creates companies and makes direct investments across the worldwide public and private equity markets and the entertainment industry. Investing more than $200M since 2009, the firm is recognized for its open minded and actively strategic approach to every investment, creating successful, long-term relationships with portfolio companies across all sectors. Providing broad-based strategic support alongside capital, Magna continues to be among the most active and versatile investors in its market segment.

Media Contact:
Dawn Bridges
(917) 679-7390