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First Look digs coin in Seven Hills Pix

Indie to expand U.S. theatrical, video, DVD distribution

Reverge Anselmo’s production company Seven Hills Pictures has committed more than $8 million in new capital to First Look Pictures to enable the indie to expand its U.S. theatrical, video and DVD distribution operations.

Under the terms of the deal, Seven Hills will now own approximately 25% in the company and will invest $6.05 million in cash in exchange for 2,630,434 shares of common stock at $2.30 per share.

Additionally, Seven Hills will receive warrants to purchase up to an additional 1,172,422 shares of common stock at $3.40 per share, expiring five years from closing.

Seven Hills will also provide an additional $2 million in subordinated debt to First Look, repayable in seven years, which will be used solely to fund a joint venture between Seven Hills and First Look to provide P&A funds for the theatrical release of films selected by either Seven Hills or First Look. Seven Hills will also fund its portion of the joint venture with $2 million in cash.

As part of the arrangement, pics produced by Seven Hills will also be released in the U.S. by First Look Pictures using funds provided by the joint venture. Overseas Filmgroup, the international sales arm of First Look Media, will handle foreign sales on these titles.

Deal comes after First Look and Seven Hills previously teamed on the Kirsten Dunst-Nick Stahl starrer “Lover’s Prayer,” for which Overseas handled worldwide sales.

Seven Hills’ upcoming slate includes “Stateside,” a wartime love story written and to be directed by Anselmo and produced by Robert Greenhut that is skedded to shoot this October in New York; and “Runaway Bay,” written by Anselmo, being produced by Michael Taylor (“Phenomenon”).

“We are thrilled to have Reverge join us as a significant new shareholder and partner of First Look,” says Chris Cooney, co-chairman and CEO of First Look Media. “He understands our goals, and the value of the equity and joint-venture structure provide for us to expand our presence in the U.S. distribution arena.”

Added Anselmo, president of Seven Hills Pictures: “I have known and respected First Look and its principals for a long time. It makes perfect sense for me, as an independent filmmaker, to align myself with a quality company and to simultaneously provide capital to further enhance their position and role in the marketplace.”

CAA’s John Ptak and Rick Hess were instrumental in closing the Seven Hills investment in First Look Media.