Entertainment Capital Advisors (ECA), the boutique media and entertainment financing and strategy company, has been appointed by recently launched film investment company, Regal Entertainment Group, to advise on strategy and raise capital.
Regal, launched by American Israeli businessman Adi Cohen, is seeking to build a pan-European media company with a focus on film production and distribution. It aims to aid smaller budget film-makers by creating access to talent, soft funding and subsidies in individual regions. Cohen is a venture capitalist with a background in high risk, security high-tech stocks but the for the past two years has been managing director of GC Corporation, a private venture capital fund that invests in media and entertainment.
Regal currently owns a 75 per cent stake in Barcelona-based production company, Zip Films, and a majority shareholding in its distribution and management subsidiaries. It is in advanced negotiations to acquire a large stake in publicy-listed German company, VCL Film + Medien. If the deal goes ahead, Regal intends to build the theatrical capabilities of VCL and further strengthen its core business of DVD distribution. It is also close to buying two Spanish cinema exhibitors with a total of 190 screens.
The group said that it believes the difficult global economic conditions have created an opportunity for investors seeking to build “businesses for the future”, and that the changing landscape in film has increased the gap between the major blockbuster productions and smaller budget films, which require local production and distribution model.
Regal is looking for a listing on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) during the course 2010 but is currently backed by private and institutional investors from Spain, Germany, Israel and the US, including Cayman Islands-based venture capital fund CA Capital Markets and Jordi Rediu, the owner of Zip Films.
ECA was launched in September by film financing veteran Premila Hoon (pictured) and Mark Brooke, a co-founder of media and entertainment fund Aramid Capital Partners. It aims to raise between $500m and $1bn over the next three years, and is looking to work with companies that are growing, planning to divest interests or make acquisitions across the entertainment and media industries.