Dune Capital Buys Out Elliott Management’s Relativity Stake

Investor Steven Mnuchin, Relativity Media CEO and Chairman Ryan Kavanaugh and Dune Capital Partners IV have agreed to buy out much of Elliott Management’s stake in the film and television studio.

Elliott will remain a minority investor in the studio. In addition, Relativity announced that Mnuchin has been named co-chairman of Relativity’s board. In a release announcing the transaction, Relativity said he is being brought on to prepare the company for possibly going public in 2016. The move gives the studio’s management greater operational control, which would be helpful in pulling off an IPO.

“Steven has been a trusted advisor for years, and I personally recruited him to join our board,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “He brings an unrivaled perspective on the ever-increasing value of content in Hollywood and Wall Street, and his experience will prove invaluable as we continue moving toward an IPO.”

In 2012, Elliott sold a portion of its stake to supermarket magnate Ron Burkle’s investment firm, Yucaipa. Relativity’s box office track record this year has been hit and miss, with the studio scoring a modest success with “Oculus,” but fielding underwhelming pictures such as “Earth to Echo” and “3 Days to Kill.” It has the Nicholas Sparks adaptation “Best of Me” coming out this month. On the television front the company produces such shows as “Catfish and “The Great Food Truck Race.”

Mnuchin is chairman and founder of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank Group and Dune Capital Management, a private investment firm. He was previously a partner at Goldman Sachs, and has orchestrated investments in a number of films such as “Gravity” and “Avatar.”

Relativity stated that Kavanaugh continues to be the company’s largest individual shareholder despite the transaction and can still appoint a majority of the board.

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