Funding will help WB-based banner expand Asian productions
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group has raised $275 million in new coin, adding to an existing $106 million facility at the company and giving the Warner Bros.-based banner more cash to make movies and expand its presence in Asia.Debt and equity deal is a six-year arrangement with investment firm Trinity Opportunities Limited in conjunction with Hong Kong-based Shikumen Capital Management Limited. Announced in a release by the company on Thursday, the new pact gives Village Roadshow the cash it needs to increase its co-financed films with Warner Bros. as well as its Chinese co-productions. VREG Asia, through its banner Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, “intends to mirror its U.S.-based business model built on strong portfolio films,” according to the company’s release, and has already launched its production business with three projects. Company has stated it hopes to increase that number to five to eight annually. First release for VRPA, scheduled for February, is “Journey to the West” directed by Stephen Chow. Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut “Man of Tai Chi” is also slated for release next year. Pic is a co-financing arrangement between VRPA and Universal, which will co-distribute the pic. Third pic is “My Lucky Star,” produced by and starring Chinese star Zhang Ziyi, is currently in pre-production. Village Roadshow made headlines last year when it closed a $1 billion facility through JP Morgan and Rabobank International. According to Thursday’s release, new coin will not affect that facility.