Centricus Acquires Majority Stake in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Company SK Global

Charlie Corwin will become the new CEO, and John Penotti will become chief creative officer focusing on the global film and TV slates

Centricus SK Global
CEO Charlie Corwin and Chief Creative Officer John Penotti/Photo by Max Knight

The London-based investment firm Centricus has acquired a majority stake in SK Global, the production company behind “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Centricus will provide additional capital to accelerate SK Global’s growth strategy through IP ownership, as well as other acquisitions.

Charlie Corwin will become CEO and oversee the company, including corporate expansion and operations, and John Penotti will become chief creative officer focusing on the global film and TV slates of SK Global. Sidney Kimmel, founder of SK Global, will continue in his role as chairman, and Matt Aragachi will continue as CFO.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source tells TheWrap that the deal was for low-to-mid nine figures.

Earlier this year, SK Global acquired Critical Content, a production company focused on unscripted television series that has been behind MTV’s “Catfish” and Netflix’s “Get Organized with The Home Edit.”

“With the rapid expansion of platforms and theatrical releases around the world, this is a unique time of great opportunity for independence at scale. We look forward to working with the Centricus team, who share our vision for a truly global independent studio,” Corwin said in a statement.

“Our strategy has been to invest in the rights to culturally relevant stories such as Kevin Kwan’s ‘Sex and Vanity,’ ‘Thai Cave Rescue’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ and then partner with the best talent to bring these stories to a global audience. This new ownership will drive our continued investment in franchise IP, A-list talent, and strategic acquisitions in the US and around the world,” Penotti added.  

Corwin and Penotti added, “Thanks to Sidney Kimmel’s decades long vision, support, and trust, this is all possible. We are incredibly grateful to Sidney for his leadership and belief in our team, and we will continue to apply the important lessons we learned from him.”

“We are excited to have acquired a majority stake in SK Global, a leader in independent content for global audiences,” Josh Purvis, Partner and COO of Centricus, said in a statement. “This deal marks an important investment in the media sector for Centricus. With strong leadership and strategy, we are confident in the ability to deliver on the vision to tell cultural stories around the world. We intend to continue investing in that vision through the financing of both content and acquisitions in this fast-growing space.”

“This acquisition will allow SK Global to achieve new heights under the leadership of Charlie and John. With Centricus’ support, I know SK Global can develop global franchises and content that will have global resonance,” Kimmel said. “I could not be more proud of the company we’ve built, and I am confident SK Global will prosper under the stewardship of incredible leaders.”

SK Global just released the limited series “Thai Cave Rescue” on Netflix earlier this month, as well as the second season of “Delhi Crime.” Also upcoming on their slate are the planned sequels and spinoffs of “Crazy Rich Asians,” the TV adaptations of the films “9 1/2 Weeks” and “Hell or High Water,” as well as the international spy series “Nameless” that stars “Crazy Rich Asians” actor Henry Golding.

Centricus was founded in 2016 and is a global investment firm that oversees $40 billion of assets across financial services, technology, infrastructure and consumer, media, entertainment and sports. TheWrap exclusively reported earlier this year that the investment firm’s planned acquisition of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment in the range of $600-800 million, fell apart.

The London and Century City offices of Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to Centricus and Eisner LLP and ZiffrenBrittenham LLP represented SK Global and Sidney Kimmel, respectively.

Variety first reported the news.