Atlanta-based Blackhall Studios sold for $120M to California firm

Atlanta-based Blackhall Studios was sold for $120 million to a private equity firm in Los Angeles.

Ryan Millsap, Blackhall Studios’ founder and CEO, announced the sale to Commonwealth Group on Wednesday, according to a news release. The studio recently announced a dramatic, 155-acre expansion of its existing campus in southern DeKalb County, a move that county leaders have touted as potentially “transformational.”

In February, Blackhall also finalized a land-swap deal with DeKalb in which it obtained about 40 acres of county parkland just north of the existing studio campus. As of last month, that property was not part of the expansion for which developers were seeking permits.

“I’m an entrepreneurial opportunistic real estate developer,” Millsap said in the release. “... It is both an excellent time for an entrepreneur to exit and for private equity to take a run at the next leg of the race. Everyone wins.”

Blackhall Studios, which also has studio projects in London and Los Angeles, operates near Bouldercrest Road and I-285. The planned expansion would create “the largest studio in the English-speaking world,” Millsap has said.

As part of Wednesday’s sale, Millsap will retain the rights to the Blackhall name “for use on businesses other than the physical film real estate buildings.”

“Blackhall Studios has been a very good real estate development project, and Blackhall Entertainment, my next venture, will help transform Georgia into an entertainment juggernaut,” he said in the release. “... I consider myself an Atlantan now, and the sale has given me additional resources to start other businesses that effect the entertainment industry and beyond.”

Blackhall Studios opened in 2017, and it’s worked with several large Hollywood studios, including Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., Sony and HBO. Its production studios were involved in the creation of the recent “Jumanji” and “Godzilla” films along with “Doctor Sleep” and “Venom.”