Relativity Bankruptcy: Modest Offers For TV, And No Bid Overtakes Stalking Horse

By Anita Busch, David Lieberman

Only three or four entities made offers today for Relativity Media’s television division — considered the company’s strongest asset  — but the bids are modest, according to a person with first hand knowledge of the studio’s bankruptcy process.

Today was the deadline for bids to take the studio out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Yet “nobody has come close” to a $250 million offer for the entire company from creditors informally known as Stalking Horse Bidders, the person told Deadline. Apparently, “all bids are quite low.”

Anchorage Capital Group, Falcon Investment Advisors, and Luxor Capital Group are part of that Stalking Horse group — investment firms that are owed a bundle — in fact, $360 million-plus. Barring a change in the court’s sale plan, they will take hold of the company.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York is scheduled on Monday at 11:00  ET to weigh several objections to the sale process. It now must determine which of the bids are qualified or, in other words, serious.

The low bids mean that, for now, after all the waiting, the assets would remain with some of the company’s largest creditors.

The initial plan was for the court to hold an auction on October 1, leading to a sale agreement that could close on October 20.

Several media powers that depend on movies or TV shows from Relativity — including Viacom, Netflix, and A&E Networks — have questioned whether Stalking Horse has the skills and resources to fulfill the studio’s obligations. They reserved the right to challenge a sale.

Relativity TV head Tom Forman had been talking to investors about trying to take ownership of the TV side, which is healthy with shows including Restaurant Stakeout, Kitchen Inferno, The Great Food Truck Race, to name a few.

Forman was part of Relativity’s Key Employee Incentive Plan — along with company president Tucker Tooley and other top executives — to encourage them to build the business ahead of the scheduled sale. According to court filings, Relativity said it had over 29 series in production and more than 46 contracted pilots and presentations, including eight upcoming scripted shows” in its network deals.

Relativity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this summer after failing to meet payments to their lenders. Deadline first broke the story about the company’s precarious situation and that bankruptcy was a possible outcome as creditors were growing impatient.

Relativity declined to comment.

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