The landlord wants his rent.
Funny or Die, the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, has hired a financial adviser to evaluate options including a possible sale, people with knowledge of the matter said. The asking price is $100 million to $300 million, they said.
Mr. Ferrell appeared in the site's first video, "The Landlord," which has been viewed almost 82 million times. He was the first of many comedians to film skits for the site, a list that includes Zack Galifianakis and his popular interview show "Between Two Ferns." U.S. President Barack Obama appeared on the show in March to discuss health care.
Management at Funny or Die is working with the investment bank Moelis & Co., which has contacted potential buyers to gauge their interest in a deal, said one person, who asked not to be identified because the review is private.
Funny or Die, which has spoofed everything from Mary Poppins to Kim Kardashian's sex tape, joins a growing roster of web video companies using current high valuations to raise money or sell. Maker Studios was sold to Walt Disney Co. for $500 million in May, while Vice Media raised $500 million in September selling 10% stakes to Technology Crossover Ventures and A&E Networks, valuing the company at $2.5 billion.
Time Warner already holds a minority stake in Funny or Die, which has received funding from Sequoia Capital. Patrick Starzan, a spokesman for Los Angeles-based Funny or Die, declined to comment.
Funny or Die carved a niche in short-form humorous video just as Google's YouTube and other video-sharing sites gained widespread popularity.
Like Vice Media, Funny or Die has attracted a following away from YouTube, the largest video site in the world. In addition to video uploaded to its own website, Funny or Die produced a show for Time Warner's HBO and has collaborated with the company's TBS and Adult Swim on videos and advertising.
The company parlayed its comedy credentials and connections with top Hollywood talent into deals to produce entertainment videos with companies including Under Armour, General Motors and PepsiCo.
~ Bloomberg News ~