In a deal that may suggest an improving outlook for film finance, Village Roadshow Pictures has closed a $1bn credit facility that it will use to fund current and future films.
JPMorgan Chase and Rabobank acted as joint syndication agents on the facility and, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, are co-bookrunners and co-lead arrangers.
Village Roadshow is one of the industry’s leading financiers and producers of studio-distributed films, having amassed a library of 65 titles, 61 of which - including the Matrix trilogy, the Ocean’s series, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sherlock Holmes - have been released in partnership with Warner Bros.
In a statement, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group chief executive officer Greg Basser said: “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.”
Bruce Berman, chairman and chief executive officer of Village Roadshow Pictures, added: “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.”
The facility, first established in 1997, is earmarked for the co-financing and co-production of films including imminent release Sex and the City 2 and upcoming projects Cats and Dogs 2, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, Life As We Know It and Happy Feet 2.