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FilmNation, Roadshow Films strike equity pact

FilmNation Entertainment has sold a roughly one-third stake of the company valued at $18m to Roadshow in a strategic partnership that sees both parties seek to expand their production operations.

For Glen Basner’s New York-based venture the move brings more capital to the development and production pipeline and acquisitions fund, while the wholly owned Village Roadshow subsidiary bids to expand its production hub beyond Australia.

All existing FilmNation partners will retain their ownership positions in the company.

The first two feature films scheduled to begin production under the new structure in 2015 for release in 2016 are John Lee Hancock’s The Founder, about McDonald’s creator Ray Kroc, and The Good House to star Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro.

FilmNation will also commence production on the Cannes market hit Story Of Your Life starring Amy Adams under the direction of Denis Villeneuve in May.

FilmNation and Village Roadshow are partners in a pre-existing non-exclusive output deal covering Australia and New Zealand.

“Partnering with such a successful and well respected company as Roadshow Films is a significant next step for us,” said FilmNation CEO Glen Basner (pictured) and COO Milan Popelka. “Roadshow’s proven track record speaks for itself and we are proud to have such an experienced company invest with us. 

“Together as partners alongside our original co-founding partners Steven B Samuels, Anthoni Visconsi II, and Dominic Visconsi Jr, who continue to demonstrate their confidence in the company, we’re certain FilmNation can achieve our goals of successfully expanding our investments in feature film content creation while continuing to grow our worldwide platform.”

“Our investment in FilmNation is a significant development in the continuing evolution of Roadshow Films that provides us with new growth opportunities outside of our core Australian market,” said Joel Pearlman and Chris Chard of Roadshow Films.

“We have greatly enjoyed and benefited from the long-term relationship Roadshow has with Glen and the entire FilmNation team and are excited to invest in the future of FilmNation as they embark upon an expanded production slate of strong, quality independent films that will prove popular with audiences around the world.

“FilmNation has a great future and we are very optimistic that together we can continue to foster and grow the production of films that expand the company’s presence in the global entertainment marketplace.”

Samuels, Visconsi Jr and Visconsi II, added: “Over the past six years under Glen’s leadership, FilmNation has established itself as one of the premier producers, international distributors and marketers of high quality films.

“With a solid foundation in place and an established reputation for quality and integrity, we are strong advocates for the value the transaction announced today creates for current stakeholders and believe that Roadshow’s investment is an important industry endorsement of FilmNation’s past success and near- and long-term prospects.

“By partnering with Roadshow Films, we believe FilmNation is superbly positioned to achieve further growth and to continue expanding our platform.”

The value of the stake was revealed in a filing released by Village Roadshow Ltd to the Australian Stock Exchange on Wednesday (December 17).

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