Two days before it hopes a judge will agree to let it exit bankruptcy, Relativity Media has come forward with the latest in a series of financing proposals — this one described as a $400 million in equity film financing that Maple Leaf Films will make in the Hollywood studio.
The Relativity announcement describes the funder as a unit of the Maple Leaf Capital Group of companies, which it says is focused on hedge funds, real estate and film finance through offices in London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Maple Leaf “began its involvement in film finance in 2005,” as a producer and debt- or equity-investor in small- to medium-size independent films, Relativity said.
Relativity has announced several different arrangements that it hoped would jump-start the company’s stalled film studio. Several of the deals have fallen through, or produced less than originally suggested, both leading up to its July Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and in the seven months since.
The Relativity announcement expresses excitement about working with two Maple Leaf principals — Michael Wexler and Tove Christensen. The new financiers, in turn, praised “the leadership and vision” of Ryan Kavanaugh, the embattled founder of Relativity. “We believe Ryan is assembling the right teams to take advantage of their existing infrastructure and position in the marketplace, both foreign and domestic,” Christensen said in a statement.
Among Maple Leaf’s projects are “The Tank,” currently in post-production, and “Prayer,” starring Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush.
It does not appear the new financing arrangement has been reported to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. Relativity had previously pledged to raise $100 million in new equity investment, then reduced that amount to $20 million, before filing documents in court that indicated there would be no new cash infusion, at least in the short run.
The Maple Leaf investment could shift the financing arrangement, though the terms of the new investment with Relativity remain unknown.