Cotter, Citi team on financing, sales
Film exec Colin Cotter is teaming with Citi to form Continental Entertainment Group, a full-service film financing, sales and distribution company.The new entity, announced Wednesday, will operate two subsidiaries — distribution and global sales unit Continental Pictures and financing arm Continental Entertainment Capital. Although the company didn’t issue a figure, the financing arm is expected to have access to $500 million in funds. Cotter will serve as prexy-CEO of both the parent company and Continental Pictures, while also remaining a partner in Graham King’s Initial Entertainment Group. Benjamin Waisbren, who previously headed Stark Investment’s Warners-based film fund Virtual Studios, has been named prexy-CEO of Capital Entertainment. Waisbren left Virtual after the dismal showing of Warner Bros.’ “Poseidon,” which Virtual co-financed. Jamie Viceconte, a managing director in Citi’s global special situations group, which invests in a wide array of asset classes, including the film biz — joins Cotter and Waisbren on the board of Continental Entertainment Group. “We can offer basically anything entertainment companies might need to operate and expand their business,” Cotter said. The sales company will be based in Los Angeles, and plans to acquire rights of 10 to 12 films in its first year. Citi is providing Continental Pictures with a revolving credit facility. Execs from the new company plan to attend the major film and television markets. Continental Entertainment Capital will be set up to provide equity, structured finance, gap loans, mezzanine financing, P&A funding and debt replacement loans. Waisbren will be based in New York. D. Jeffrey Andrick, previously of Comerica, has joined as managing director and will run its Los Angeles office. Cotter co-founded IEG in 1994 with King, and oversees all financial, administrative and operating activities. Prior to that, he was the financial controller for Cori Group, an international distribution company, and launched his career as an accountant for Spitting Image Prods.