Village Roadshow Pictures Raising $400 Million to Increase Production

American Sniper” co-financer Village Roadshow Pictures is in talks to raise as much as $400 million from investors to increase production, according to a published report.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the company is working with Moelis & Co. to raise the equity funding and with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Rabobank NA to refinance and extend its credit facility beyond 2020.

A representative for Village Roadshow, which provided co-financing for “The Lego Movie,” “Into the Storm,” “The Judge” and “Jupiter Ascending,” declined to comment to Variety.

Village Roadshow Pictures, which has a longstanding co-financing deal through Warner Bros., is 47% owned by Australia’s Village Roadshow Ltd. The parent company said last month that it was planning to boost its annual production to as many as 12 films a year.

Village Roadshow is also backing a pair of Warner Bros.’ summer tentpoles — “Mad Max: Fury Road,” set for May 15, and earthquake actioner “San Andreas,” launching May 29 — along with Ron Howard’s whaling drama “In the Heart of the Sea.”

It is also providing financing for a trio of Sony titles — football drama “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, opening Christmas; Jack Black’s “Goosebumps” and Sacha Baron Cohen’s spy comedy “Grimsby” — under a co-production and co-financing deal.

The co-production and co-financing agreement between Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros. was extended in 2012. The revised agreement included a provision giving Village Roadshow the ability to invest in global film rights.

Village Roadshow Pictures secured $275 million in financing in 2012. In a presentation last month, Village Roadshow Ltd. said it had drawn $345 million from a $770 million facility for film production.

The company also distributes movies and operates theaters and theme parks in Australia.

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