Two weeks into its new 15-year deal with 20th Century Fox, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency Prods. announced it has obtained a $600 million credit line, arranged by Chase Securities Inc. and Berliner Bank.
The credit line, which replaces a $350 million borrowing facility New Regency has had with an offshore bank, greatly expands the amount of capital New Regency has on hand to finance its film, television and record businesses.
The new credit is supplemented by the $200 million in equity invested by 20th Century Fox as part of its deal to bring New Regency to the Century City lot from Warner Bros. (Daily Variety, Sept. 9, 1997).
Marking the first time New Regency has been involved in the bank syndication market, Chase syndicated the New Regency line to a group of international banks that includes BancAmerica, Banque Nationale de Paris, Fleet Bank, Societe Generale and Union Bank of California.
“The strong bank market response to this financing is a testament to the success of the New Regency management team, both creatively and strategically, to build a platform for continued diversified growth in film, music, television and sports,” said John Miller, managing director of Chase’s Entertainment Industries Group.
Fox Filmed Entertainment and New Regency began its long-term deal at the beginning of this month. Under the pact, Fox will distribute all Regency product (excluding international TV), including feature films, video, licensing and merchandising, and domestic TV.
Among the various joint ventures stemming from the New Regency-Fox deal are the development and production of international TV programming, and an arrangement for Fox’s sports and kids webs to provide North American marketing and promotional support for Puma AG, the German athletic-wear maker in which New Regency holds a 25% equity stake.
In return, New Regency — which produced such recent pics as “L.A. Confidential,” “Devil’s Advocate,” “A Time to Kill” and “JFK” — will finance and produce up to 10 pics per year for Fox. Regency will finance two-thirds of its films with its own, newly expanded, credit line; the remaining projects will be co-financed with Fox. Regency also pays for all prints and advertising costs and lets the studio have the foreign and domestic distribution.