Fresh coin will retire,refinance 2010 recapitalization debt
While Hollywood turns over rocks in search of equity, Legendary Entertainment has closed $128 million in new capital while simultaneously securing $150 million in debt through JPMorgan.Goldman Sachs raised the equity through a mix of existing and new investors, Legendary confirmed Wednesday. Existing investors involved in the new arrangement include Jim Breyer and Breyer Capital, Accel Partners, IDG Capital Partners and Gordy Crawford. New backers include Morgan Stanley, Thiel Capital and Tomorrow Ventures. Legendary will use the new funds to retire and refinance debt from its 2010 recapitalization, while some coin will go toward new entertainment and publishing projects. Legendary has a distribution arrangement with Warner Bros., which helped attract lenders for the company’s $700 million credit line last year. That facility ends in 2016, while the partnership between Legendary and WB is set to expire next year. In 2005, the companies inked a seven-year distribution deal to co-finance and co-produce 40 films, starting with “Batman Begins” and “Superman Returns.” The credit crunch, financial crisis and poor-performing slate deals have made investors wary of films without commercial safeguards. Legendary’s deal with WB, which the two companies have plenty of reason to extend before its expiration date, means that investors will get tentpole fare with global distribution. Warners will unspool the Legendary-produced “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20.