VILLAGE ROADSHOW PICTURES SECURES $1 BILLION FILM PRODUCTION FACILITY IN INDUSTRY’S MOST SIGNIFICANT FINANCING DEAL IN YEARS
LOS ANGELES, CA., MAY 27, 2010—Village Roadshow Pictures Group (“VRPG”) today closed a $1 billion film finance credit facility to finance its current and future slate of motion pictures. JPMorgan Chase and Rabobank acted as joint syndication agents and, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, are co-bookrunners and co-lead arrangers.
Said Greg Basser, Chief Executive Officer of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (“VREG”), the parent of VRPG and Concord Music Group, “At a time when capital is at a premium, we’ve managed to attract the confidence of a diverse group of investors and secure significant financing. We are grateful to all involved with the close of this deal and to our unwavering partners at Warner Bros.”
Since its formation in 1997, VRPG has been one of the industry’s leading financiers and producers of studio released motion pictures, amassing a library of 65 films, 61 of which have been released in partnership with Warner Bros. – representing the studio’s longest continuous relationship with an independent film financing and production company.
Said Bruce Berman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VRP: “We are in the business of making movies. This new financing enables us to expand upon the solid foundation we’ve established within the industry and grow our slate of tentpole and star-driven films.”
“We have had a long, successful relationship with Village Roadshow, and are very pleased they will continue to be our partners in making great movies,” added Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO and Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
As it has throughout its partnership with Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures will continue to co-finance and co-produce high caliber, star driven films such as today’s release of Sex And The City 2 and recent blockbuster hits Sherlock Holmes, and Gran Torino and the Academy Award animated picture winner, Happy Feet.
Village Roadshow Limited Chief Executive Officer, Graham Burke said, “VRL is committed to VREG and our joint ventures with Warner Bros. This is a unique partnership established in 1971 and marked by success in distribution, theme parks, and a pictures group that has released 65 films and grossed $10 billion in box office results to date. It is a great alliance and our best years are ahead.”
The facility, first established in 1997, is earmarked, among other projects, for the financing and production of Sex and the City 2, Cats and Dogs 2 in 3D, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, in 3D, and Life As We Know It starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel slated for 2010 as well as Happy Feet 2 in 3D slated for 2011.