Relativity TV Chief Tom Forman Close to a Deal to Stay After Sale

The hedge funds that are poised to own Relativity Media’s television operations are close to a deal that will keep Tom Forman on board as the company’s chief executive officer, an attorney for the buyers said in a court hearing on Wednesday.

“We’re in the process of finalizing his agreement,” said Dennis C. O’Donnell, an attorney for the buyers. He went on to predict that the television group’s leadership, which includes managing director Andrew Marcus, would remain on board after a sale closes.

The hearing Wednesday was to deal with objections to a court-approved sale that will see investment firms such as Anchorage Capital, Falcon Investments and Colbeck Capital take control of the studio behind CBS’s “Limitless” and MTV’s “Catfish.” These buyers are owed more than $360 million by Relativity, and are trying to finalize an agreement that would allow them to forgive $125 million worth of that debt in exchange for taking ownership of Relativity Television. Relativity filed for Chapter 11 protection last summer, citing $1.2 billion in liabilities and assets with a book value of just $560 million.

The buyers said that five of the 12 objections to the sale have been resolved. They entail issues raised by Fox, Showtime, Shoutz and CIT Bank, all of which signed off on changes, and one additional concern from IATM, the copyright holder on the Relativity film “Act of Valor,” which is expected to be addressed, attorneys said.

There are still other objections relating to rights to and liens on various television properties from the likes of Viacom and producer Brett Ratner that still have to be hammered out.

“We’ve made a great deal of progress in terms of getting them comfortable with the company going forward … we’re very close, but we’re not there,” said O’Donnell.

A hearing on those objections is scheduled for next Monday.

In filings this week, the television arm’s buyers said they were committed to pumping at least $60 million into the company, $30 million to $40 million of which will in operating cash, and another $30 million in the form of a note receivable.

Forman has overseen the television division since it was launched in 2008. Prior to that he oversaw his own television production company within CBS Television Studios and had a stint with Endemol.

Marcus joined the company in 2005, rising up the ranks while negotiating a distribution deal with Netflix and helping to oversee the purchase of Rogue Pictures.

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