EXCLUSIVE: A new $100 million financing facility to help fuel the growth of independent film and TV will be unveiled this week. Under its new initiative, Versa Media Capital will effectively act as executive producers in structuring bridge financing, international distribution and other services to filmmakers.
The entity has secured its $100 million facility from Crayhill Capital Management, an alternative asset management firm that represents major institutional investors.
Versa was founded by financier Jeff Geoffray, veteran entertainment attorney Jeffrey Konvitz and private equity investor Dan Rainey. Geoffray earlier ran Blue Rider Finance, which has underwritten some 70 bridge financing deals.
Bridge financing provides capital for producers to cover down payments for talent or other pre-production expenses prior to securing full bank financing. Versa also provides mezzanine, tax subsidy and gap loans for production entities.
“The accelerating growth in digital and other non-traditional distribution channels coupled with increasing demand from non-U.S. markets is driving demand for new film content and creating attractive collateralized lending opportunities,” said Crayhill managing partner Josh Eaton.
According to Konvitz: “Bridge financing has been a piecemeal process in the past based on one-off relationships, so it is vital now to bring important institutional funding into the process. The Versa funds will be supervised not just by bankers but by experienced producers and attorneys familiar with the intricacies of the production process.”
The new entity will start making deals this week, he said.