Hemisphere Capital Management partners Jean-Luc De Fanti (pictured), Jeff Sagansky and Eli Baker have launched the Hemisphere Tentpole Co-Financing Fund and are on board The Smurfs, The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn, Men In Black 3 and World War Z.
The development comes as the Tentpole Fund closed deals last week with Sony (The Smurfs, Men In Black 3) and Paramount (The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn, World War Z).
The revolving equity and debt fund is established under the mandate of co-financing studio tentpoles and aims to build up a roster of 12-16 over the next four to five years.
According to a press release issued on behlaf of Hemisphere, the aggregate investment in the first four titles will exceed $200m in capital commitments to Sony and Paramount. The Smurfs opened in second place on $35.6m at the US box office last weekend, while Tintin is a highly anticipated fourth quarter release.
Men In Black 3 will open in summer 2012 and once again is directed by Barry Sonnenfeld with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the leads alongside Josh Brolin. World War Z is in production in Malta and is based on the bestseller, with Marc Forster directing and Brad Pitt starring serving as producer.
Hemisphere investors and strategic partners include Toho-Towa Company and Kadokawa Shoten of Japan and Lotte Cinema of South Korea. JP Morgan Chase’s entertainment group is the Fund’s debt financing partner.
“We have assembled a great team of financial and strategic partners who have also witnessed the on-going worldwide trend in the film business,” De Fanti said. “This allowed us to invest in significant global Tentpole pictures with the highest calibre of talent and filmmakers assembled at both Sony and Paramount. We look forward to expanding our relationship with both Studios.”
Bryan Wolf of Ziffren Brittenham, a long-time collaborator and advisor to Hemisphere’s management team, was instrumental in structuring the Fund and brokering the studio deals.
Sony’s Motion Picture Group CFO and evp Stefan Litt negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio and Paramount’s Daniel Ferleger and Paul Neinstein negotiated for that studio. Schuyler Moore from Stroock, Stroock and Lavan represented Toho-Towa, Kadokawa Shoten and Lotte Cinema on investment, tax and distribution matters.
De Fanti, Sagansky and Baker will manage the Tentpole Fund in addition to the mezzanine and special opportunities funds, which operated previously under the Winchester Capital banner.
The mezzanine and special opportunities funds financed such independent projects as The Men Who Stare At Goats.