Long-time speculation over whether Ryan Kavanaugh would take his company public came into slightly sharper focus on Thursday (19) as the CEO said he anticipated doing so within the next 12-18 months.
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Kavanaugh said the company had retained Jefferies for a capital raise ahead of the public offering and would also refinance debt.
“We’re on our pre-IPO roadshow right now and we’re in the process of setting up the proper capital raise to go public and our goal is to have it happen let’s say within the next 12-18 months,” he said.
Kavanaugh said the goal of the raise was to ensure the company was capitalised appropriately to pursue opportunities, particularly tech acquisitions. He would not be drawn on a Relativity valuation but said it would be “a chunk of capital, which is a good size.”
Pointing out that Relativity was not solely a film studio, the executive said that side of the business accounted for roughly 50% of the business, the remainder coming from tech, reality TV and fashion content and the sports agency business.
“The purpose of the IPO is so that our company can be liquid and have the capability… of growing at the same speed as other large public companies,” he said.
With regard to the company’s mooted Hong Kong listing, Kavanaugh said, “We consider ourselves as much as Chinese company as a US company.”
Earlier this week Relativity announced strategic alliances with China’s Jiangsu Broadcasting Corp and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and said it had been appointed the international distribution partner of China Film Promotion International. Kavanaugh is pictured with JSBC president Bu Yu.
Relativity also wholly owns Beijing-based distributor-financier SkyLand Entertainment.