You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Grosvenor fund eyes Teuton tie

Co. poised to launch two equity funds for pic coin

LONDON — Grosvenor Park, the Anglo-Canadian film financier, is moving into Germany to raise DM1.05 billion ($504 million) for international production.

The company is poised to launch two equity funds under Germany’s revised tax law, which came into force Jan. 1.

One, raising up to $384 million, will be used to co-finance movies from a single Hollywood studio. Paramount is believed to be the leading contender for the deal.

The second fund of $120 million will be earmarked for pics from European entities, including FilmFour, Media Capital Partners and Fragile Films.

Global focus

The move marks a big step forward in Grosvenor Park’s strategy to position itself as a one-stop shop for multi-national production financing.

To enter the German market, the company has formed a joint venture with former Viacom exec David Molner. He was the architect of Paramount’s $1.5 billion in German tax financing over the past four years.

By adding German funds to its existing expertise in U.K. tax financing and Canadian subsidies, Grosvenor Park will be able to provide between 20% and 45% of the budget for a film, depending on its country of origin.

“If you can link the jurisdictions and do it accurately, you have the possibility to create a superstore of film financing,” comments Molner.

Straight equity

The German coin alone will cover about 20% of a film’s budget. It’s a straight equity investment, free of any obligation to use Teutonic talent or locations. But to ensure the films have real commercial potential, Grosvenor Park will only invest money in films with U.S. distribution.

The British sale-and-leaseback deals and the Canadian subsidies are typically worth 10% each, but are only available to qualifying national films.

“By combining the benefits of several countries, we can bring a producer 30% or 40% of the budget, without having to sell off any rights,” says Don Starr, chairman and CEO of Grosvenor Park.

The company has already laid down the template for such deals by putting up 25% of the budget for FilmFour’s $13 million “Buffalo Soldiers,” which started shooting last November.

It advanced 10% against the U.K. sale-and-leaseback deal, and invested 15% in equity. Because the film started before the new German tax regime came into force, Grosvenor Park drew the equity from its own pocket. But in future deals, that money will come from the German investors.

‘Carbon’ date

The two companies have now entered an ongoing co-financing agreement for FilmFour’s upcoming slate. The first project will be Mark Munden’s “Carbon Miranda.”

Grosvenor Park has struck a similar deal with Media Capital Partners, the London and L.A.-based financier that recently launched its own foreign sales arm.

The German indie fund, together with a U.K. sale-and-leaseback, will also put up around $4.5 million of the $15 million budget for Fragile Films’ “The Importance of Being Earnest,” directed by Oliver Parker and starring Rupert Everett and Judi Dench.

It is in negotiations with Renaissance Films to provide German and Canadian coin for the $45 million Bryan Singer project “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” starring Johnny Depp and George Clooney.

Molner would not confirm Paramount as the beneficiary of the studio fund, saying only that several majors are pursuing the deal. But once the first two funds, which are due to close March 31, are successfully launched to German investors, he expects to follow up with several more for a variety of Hollywood players.

More Film

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    Disney Retiring Fox 2000 Label

    Disney will stop making films under the Fox 2000 label, a move that could mean that its head Elizabeth Gabler will not be making the move to the Magic Kingdom, Variety has learned. The decision is surprising because Disney had previously stated that Gabler would stay on board at the studio even after it was [...]

  • Macon Blair27th Annual Gotham Independent Film

    Macon Blair to Direct and Write 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot for Legendary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Macon Blair has been tapped to write and direct Legendary’s reboot of the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger,” sources tell Variety. Legendary acquired the feature film rights in December and have quickly made the project a high priority at the studio. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers with Alex [...]

  • Danny Boyle Bond 25

    Danny Boyle Calls His Exit From 'Bond 25' a 'Great Shame'

    Director Danny Boyle has finally spoken out after leaving the upcoming 25th James Bond movie over creative differences. After splitting from the new 007 flick last August, Boyle told Empire in a story published on Thursday that the script he penned with his “Trainspotting” co-writer John Hodge “wasn’t finished, but it could have been really [...]

  • Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    An elegiac documentary exploring the brief life of rapper Lil Peep, “Everybody’s Everything” certainly doesn’t lack for perspectives. Interviewing virtually everyone who knew the musician (born Gustav Ahr), directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan cover the waterfront, from Peep’s family to his girlfriends, his innumerable collaborators, his managers and his fans, trying to distill exactly [...]

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Fox Layoffs: Distribution and Marketing Leaders Out

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Nabs Nine Nominations for 6th Premios Platino

    As was widely anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s triple Oscar-winning “Roma” dominated the 6th Premios Platino nominations, unveiled Thursday at Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Oscars. It snagged a total of nine nominations, including best film, director, art direction, cinematography, and acting for its two Oscar-nominated actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content