Real estate mogul backing small budget films

Yet another private equity fund is being set up to invest in modestly budgeted Hollywood movies.

Midwestern real estate financier Tony Reynolds is putting together Select Film Fund, which plans to invest $1 billion in slates of up to 10 movies from each of about 10 different producers over the next four years, focusing on movies costing about $10 million. A few pics may be higher budgeted.

Reynolds told Daily Variety that the fund would officially be open for business sometime in July but could not name the banks or well-heeled private investors that are already behind the initiative until “our private placement is completed and our fund is fully operational.”

Reynolds did say the fund would be looking for projects with low risk and high profit margins.

“There’s no one movie genre we’re interested in; we’re just looking for interesting projects that are commercially viable and can turn a profit for our investors,” he said.

On Monday, Reynolds said he had tapped former MGM chief financial officer Michael Corrigan as a board member who will lead the financial initiatives for the fund. He joins David Areson, who was a managing director of sales at Invesco and at Citigroup; “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” writer Kenny Snyder; and producer Desiree Jellerette. Reynolds said two other Hollywood execs would be named to the board shortly.

“Mike brings the film studio financial experience to our board to help us manage our goal of a $1 billion fund,” Reynolds said. “We have found the perfect fit to teach us to explain to our investors where our dollars are made in film investments.”

While a senior exec VP and chief operating officer at MGM, Corrigan organized a number of syndicated credit facilities and was responsible for the studio’s holding in UIP, the joint international distribution apparatus with Paramount and Universal. Corrigan also led the Lion’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.

Corrigan was previously a senior partner in the entertainment, media and communications practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers and was a co-founder of Shelbourne Capital Partners, a boutique financial advisory and merchant banking firm.

In addition to the real estate business, Reynolds’ background includes a stint in the Gulf War, the management of a small record label and jobs in political PR.

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