Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP) has completed a restructure of its $900m film financing production facility, in a deal that makes it available through until September 30, 2010.
The facility pays for the films made by the Los Angeles-based Australian company and Warner Bros under a long-standing joint venture and the new deal has provision for additional capacity of $350m.
The partnership has already seen more than 60 films produced including The Matrix trilogy, Happy Feet,Mystic River, Analyze This, Miss Congeniality, I Am Legend, Get Smart and Gran Torino.
The next release, Where The Wild Things Are from director Spike Jonze, was filmed inMelbourneand will be in cinemas from October. Also in the pipeline are Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, which will be released around Christmas, Cats & Dogs 2, and the Australian film Guardians Of Ga’Hoole, a joint venture with Sydney-based Animal Logic.
News of the restructure was included in a statement made by Village Roadshow Limited (VRL) to the Australian Stock Exchange today. VRL owns 40% of VRP’s parent company, the Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, which has been working for some time on the deal with Rabobank and JP Morgan Chase.
“The refinancing of VREG underpins its diversified entertainment business and better places it to maximize and realize the substantial value inherent in its film and music libraries,” said VRL managing director Graham Burke.
“The outcome is testament to the underlying strengths of our motion picture interests and comes at a time when movie attendance is at an all time high as people seek out low cost escapes in difficult times.”
Burke also talked about the loyalty of Warner Bros to what is one ofAustralia’s biggest entertainment conglomerates. Village Cinemas is one of the biggest exhibition circuits in the country and Roadshow Films one of the biggest distribution entities, partly thanks to its sub-distribution deal with Warners.