UK film financier Prescience, is having a shake up. The company, which is notably known as being the majority financier of British box-office and Oscar success The King’s Speech, is rebranding to its affiliate fledgling company Hindsight Media Services.
The move will see Hindsight replace Prescience, with Hindsight become the main operating company for management, new financing entities and historical Prescience companies and funds.
It’s also restructuring its team: Paul Brett, who set up the original company with Tim Smith, left the business in September 2016. James Swarbrick, previously commercial director, has been appointed CEO and will take over from Smith, who will become chairman. John Story, a media investor and former EOne shareholder, joins the board as non-executive director.
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Hindsight says it expects to make a number of additional hires during the first quarter of this year.
At the same time, two new funds are being launched by the group: the EIS fund Hindsight Media, which will focus on film, television and games and has already committed to projects such as Julian Fellowes’ Crooked House; and a new mezzanine fund, set up as a joint venture with another UK financier. Details of the latter are expected to be announced in a few weeks.
Prescience subsidiary, Ignition Media Finance, which concluded $30M of lending in the last year, will remain the group’s tactical lending subsidiary. The company will aim to increase its activities in 2017.
Hindsight is now also the biggest shareholder in the new rights management business Legacy, which was announced earlier this week.
“Our boutique media financing business has an exciting pipeline of potential projects for this year and beyond and by structuring our funds to effectively provde senior, mezzanine, development and equity along with tactical and bridge lending, we are providing flexibility, competitive pricing and often 100% of the financing of projects, for example the recent release of A Street Cat Named Bob,” said Smith.
“Simultaneously, we are broadening activity to include games and television as well as film and committing to synergistic new enterprises like Legacy.”
Swarbrick said: “I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity to drive the company forward during this time of accelerated change in the entertainment media. Over the past ten years, the Hindsight/Prescience team has quietly built a reputation and track record in the filmed entertainment sector with a philosophy of seeking out the best projects and delivering returns for our investors.”
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