The Weinstein Company (TWC) will handle worldwide distribution for all films under the deal and domestic DVD distribution will go through Genius Products under the recently formed Dragon Dynasty label.
TWC, which already has an office in Hong Kong, plans to expand up its Asian business and to this end recently hired film executive David Lee as executive vice president of Asian operations to oversee the creative aspects of the Asian Film Fund.
Lee will report to co-president of production Michael Cole and Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
Upcoming projects include a live-action version of Mulan, a contemporary remake of Seven Samurai, the second world war action epic Shanghai, and an untitled Tony Jaa project.
The roster continues with a trio of English-language Hong Kong action films from 24 producer Tony Krantz and Infernal Affairs co-director Andrew Lau, and the upcoming release Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, which TWC will jointly release in North America with Lionsgate.
TWC anticipates producing or acquiring a total of 21 theatrical titles and 10 direct-to-video titles during the term for the fund.
Goldman Sachs structured and placed the fund, which will be capitalised by senior debt, mezzanine and equity financing, and has been a long-cherished goal by the brothers.
A consortium of banks led and co-arranged by Comerica Bank will provide the senior debt financing. Continental Entertainment Capital and Israel Discount Bank of New York are also participating in the senior debt facility.
Citigroup Global Markets will provide the mezzanine and equity financing alongside PMA Capital Management Limited on behalf of investment funds it manages, among others. TWC will also be an equity investor in the fund.
The fund will finance 100% of both production or acquisition costs and P&A costs.
A team of investors will manage the fund, with TWC serving as the managing member with authority over all film-related activities including development, creative, marketing, and distribution.
The agreement was brokered by TWC's executive vice president and chief financial officer Larry Madden, and senior vice president of finance and business development Andy Kim.
The law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP served as TWC's outside counsel on the deal. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP advised Goldman Sachs and Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP advised Comerica.