Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Village Roadshow Pictures aims to step up its co-productions with Warner Bros. via a debt refinancing due to be negotiated in New York this week. Part of Los Angeles-based Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, VRP has co-produced an average of 5-7 films per year although last year the co-venture made just four. VREG intends to ramp that up to 6-8 titles annually by increasing its debt facility from $1 billion to $1.1 billion. Executives believe this is a good time to seek refinancing while interest rates are attractive and to capitalize on the value of its library of 75 films including the upcoming The Great Gatsby and Gangster Squad. Village Roadshow Limited and VREG executives are due to meet with lead bankers JP Morgan and Rabobank in New York on Wednesday to arrange a 5-year refinancing. In June VREG bolstered its balance sheet by raising $275 million in new capital in a deal with Trinity Opportunities Limited and Hong Kong-based Shikumen Capital Management Limited.