In a pretty honest panel discussion at NATPE, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s chairman, Tony Vinciquerra had said that if his business does not see any growth then it might be sold:
The need for divided audience reaction, global scale, and tough distribution points seem to be hurting a lot of companies.
“If we don’t grow, we will be somebody’s purchase,” he told moderator Soledad O’Brien. “I didn’t take the job to do it for a year and sell the company.”
This was the first time that outsiders had heard from Vinciquerra after he came into position in June, 2017. The Q&A session with O’Brien was for 45-minutes and touched upon planning and his vision. Vinciquerra had said that he had to ensure that all his executives really understood the need to be nimble on the film and TV productions by creating some a sense of urgency.
“People are aware the business is changing rapidly,” he said. “If we are not on our toes, we are not going to be in business very long.”
SPE owns Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Affirm Films, Funimation and Destination Films. It is tied directly to Spider-Man, Men in Black, Resident Evil, Underworld,
The Smurfs and Ghostbusters.
Other than the huge movie makers, Vinciquerra had said that the pressure is being put on the big-budget enterprises and this has been the growth of OTT providers and they have a huge market share, like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google and Netflix.
“We are a tiny little minnow fighting against all these gigantic companies,” he said. “If they want to step on us, they could do it.
Vinciquerra pointed that there are some different opportunities and threats for all to co-exist. He had thrown light on the ways that Apple can connect with consumers through iPhones, computers, and hardware; using Google as a search domination; Amazon as a retailer, but they do not have the production experience of those in Hollywood.
This statement sounded like the first line of an investment case:
“We are the engine for creativity for them,” Vinciquerra said. “We bring new ways to bring customers into their eco-systems.”
Recent reports, April 2016 – March 2017, Sony Pictures Entertainment reported sales of more than $8 billion, factoring in the purchase price for Paramount Pictures and the Disney-Fox deal, it will be a safe estimate to think that a buyer will require $30 billion to acquire SPE.