Bluestone Equity Partners Invests in RWS Global, the World’s Largest Provider of Live Shows, Destinations and Immersive Experiences
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NEW YORK, September 18, 2023-- Bluestone Equity Partners (“Bluestone”), the global Sports, Media & Entertainment (“SME”) private equity firm, today announced a minority investment in RWS Global, the world’s largest provider of live shows, destinations and immersive experiences across the hospitality, leisure, theatrical, corporate, retail and sports sectors.
Built on more than 120 years of combined expertise, RWS Global is the combination of four powerhouse companies — RWS, ted, JRA and ARC. Together, they design, create, cast, produce and operate more entertainment experiences and destinations than any other provider in the world. Each year, RWS Global casts more than 8,000 performers and technicians, delivering more than one million live moments to guests in over 50 countries, across six continents and the seven seas, every day.
With headquarters in New York, London and Cincinnati, RWS Global employs a diverse team of world-class talent, driven to exceed client and guest expectations. From cruise ships, museums, theme parks and sports venues, to destinations, resorts, stage and screen, RWS Global delivers unmatched capabilities from ideation to execution.
“Bluestone partners with uniquely capable and scalable businesses to accelerate growth on a global basis, creating lasting value for all stakeholders,” said Bobby Sharma, Bluestone’s Founder & Managing Partner. “RWS Global represents the platinum standard in live entertainment, having established a dominant position in a market sector primed for explosive growth. Its visionary Founder & CEO, Ryan Stana, has built an industry cornerstone, earning the admiration and trust of many of the world’s most well-known and respected brands, corporations, and organizations. RWS Global is a perfect addition to Bluestone’s strategic growth equity portfolio, and as its first institutional investor, we’re excited to be an integral part of its next chapter as an industry pillar.”
RWS Global marks the second investment for Bluestone, which launched its inaugural $300 million growth equity fund, in a single closing, during the first quarter of 2023. Bluestone is differentiated in the SME capital marketplace by its blue-chip industry operating experience, expansive international network, stable institutional capital base, and collaborative synergistic approach with portfolio companies. In connection with this investment, Bluestone will hold two seats on RWS Global’s Board of Directors.
“Turning the big and small moments into powerful and lasting memories is what we do,” said Stana, who founded the Emmy Award-winning company in 2003. “This is an inflection point on a remarkable journey that has taken us to over 500 productions a year, on land and sea, and virtually every corner on Earth. In a world driven by experiential culture, RWS Global continues to shatter expectations of what live experiences can and should be, reinvigorating in-person moments for both guests and brands alike. We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Bluestone to take us to the next level of growth, and an even higher level of operation, service and commitment to our clients.”
RWS Global's subsidiaries include RWS, the leader in live moments by bringing to life unforgettable in-person experiences; ted, Europe's largest leisure entertainment experience company; JRA, an award-winning creative studio specializing in master planning, design and project management; and ARC, providing casting for theatre, film, TV and commercials.
RWS Global’s impressive client roster includes Apple Inc., Azamara, the Cincinnati Reds, The Coca-Cola Company, Crayola, the Dallas Mavericks, Europa-Park Resort, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, The FRIENDS™ Experience by Original X Productions, the Green Bay Packers, Hard Rock Resorts, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Holland America Line, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lionsgate, The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Marella Cruises, the Mascot Hall of Fame, MSC Cruises, NFL, Roompot, Six Flags, Space Center Houston, Steelers Country, TUI Group, Vera Wang, Warner Bros., Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway, Chicago the Musical, The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes and many more.
About RWS Global
Built on more than 120 years of combined expertise from its subsidiaries, RWS Global launched in 2023 as an industry-leading team of four powerhouse companies—RWS, ted, JRA and ARC. Together they form the world’s largest producer of live experiences. Headquartered in New York City, London and Cincinnati, RWS Global provides ideation, design, technical, casting and operation services to create extraordinary entertainment, live events, exhibits, destinations, décor and brand attractions.
On land, at sea and everywhere in between, RWS Global produces over one million live moments every day. RWS Global employs a diverse team of world-class designers, creators, producers and more, including the casting and recruitment of over 8,000 performers and technicians annually. RWS Studios, located in New York City and London, comprises over 100,000 combined square feet of creative and meeting spaces, a costume shop, rehearsal studios, performer housing, fully equipped casting studios, acoustically treated music rooms and more.
For more information, visit www.rwsglobal.com.
About Bluestone Equity
Headquartered in New York City, Bluestone Equity Partners is a global private equity firm harnessing a unique combination of blue-chip business and investment experience, coupled with deep industry ties, to forge highly-strategic capital partnerships with established Sports, Media & Entertainment businesses and properties.
For more information, visit www.bluestoneequity.com and @bluestoneequity on LinkedIn.
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