Starz OKs bankroll for Overture

Film company to receive $325 million

Overture Films parent Starz has completed agreements to provide $325 million in long-term financing for Overture’s slate of up to a dozen films per year.

Package includes a $225 million credit facility through banks led by JP Morgan and CIT Group. In addition, $100 million of mezzanine financing and equity are provided by John Malone’s Liberty Media, parent of Starz.

Starz exec VP and CFO Glenn Curtis said Wednesday in a statement, “This structure will provide Overture with all the financing it needs to move ahead with production of eight to 12 major motion pictures a year.”

Overture launched operations in late 2006 headed by industry vets Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett. Its first feature, caper comedy “Mad Money,” opens Jan. 18.

McGurk said Wednesday that Overture now has the essential distribution and financial backing it needs, citing the long-term financial commitment from Starz and previously announced distribution deals with Starz Entertainment and Starz homevid unit Anchor Bay Entertainment.

“Liberty and Starz have proven to be the perfect long-term strategic partners Overture needed,” McGurk said. “Overture has a unique competitive advantage with complete film financing and fully integrated distribution in all media worldwide firmly in place. This enables us to focus our energies on finding great film projects and then helping the actors, producers and directors we work with to do what they do best: create compelling and innovative films.”

Overture’s planning to release “Sleepwalking,” starring Charlize Theron, on March 14 and Tom McCarthy’s “The Visitor” on April 11.

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