Federal judge approves of $29.5 million sale from Halcyon

Pacificor, a Santa Barbara-based investment fund with no feature film experience, is the new home for “The Terminator” franchise.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Ernest Robles Wednesday approved the sale of Halcyon Group’s “Terminator” rights to Pacificor over objections from Sony and Lionsgate. Pacificor agreed to pay $29.5 million, along with a provision for payment to Halycon of $5 million per film for any sequel.

“Halcyon is very gratified by the judge’s decision and the outcome of the bidding process,” a Halcyon spokesman said. “It not only provides maximum benefit to Halcyon creditors, which is the point of the Chapter 11 process, but also leaves Halcyon extremely well-positioned to move forward as a going concern with a great future in the movie business.”

Sony and Lionsgate — which had combined to bid for the rights — had been in talks with Pacificor after the fund beat out the studios in an auction that concluded Monday. But those discussions didn’t lead to a deal.

Halcyon paid Mario Kassar $30 million for the “Terminator” rights in 2007, but then Halcyon filed for Chapter 11 last summer as a result of a dispute with Pacificor, which had financed the acquisition. Pacificor had asserted that Halcyon owed it $38.1 million but the deal for the rights will settle that claim.

Lionsgate stepped up last month as the first bidder for the rights to the “Terminator” franchise with a “stalking horse” or floor bid of $15 million and a 5% cut of future gross receipts. Sony made its first bid last week.

The “Terminator” assets include the rights to future pics, TV series, DVDs and merchandise.

“Terminator Salvation,” the fourth film in the franchise, was produced by Halcyon toppers Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson with Warner Bros. handling domestic distribution and Sony taking international. It carried a production pricetag of about $200 million and took in $371 million worldwide.

Halcyon Group, which put the franchise up for sale in September, has been developing a fifth “Terminator.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more