Societe Generale, the Paris-based investment bank known in showbiz circles for backing the Dune slate deals at Fox and a slew of other pacts, has abruptly exited the entertainment sector.
The move, effective immediately, also means the ankling of 11-year company vet Premila Hoon, a fixture in global media finance. She had moved from London to Gotham in the spring to try to deepen SocGen’s film biz ties. She and three Gotham colleagues and two in London are leaving the company.
“This move is in response to market conditions,” said company rep Jim Galvin. “We need to redeploy our resources to higher-growth areas.”
Galvin said pending transactions in which clients have debt obligations will be completed, but no new business will be initiated.
In a brief letter to clients dated Oct. 23, Hoon called it “a very sad day for me.” She pledged to remain in Gotham for several weeks to tie up loose ends.
Societe Generale’s pullout follows that of Deutsche Bank as all financial entities re-evaluate their business plans. One reason is the business of originating and redistributing or syndicating loans evaporated long before the market turmoil of September and October.
Hoon joined SocGen from Guinness Mahon, where she arranged financing for top Brit outfits including Working Title and Merchant Ivory. In recent years, she was a key player in deals for Hallmark Intl. channels (which later sold to NBC Universal), a credit line for Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp. and French production and sales outfit Wild Bunch’s bank deal for Steven Soderbergh’s “Che.”
Stateside, she also arranged a $150 million credit line for Morgan Creek and a $200 million financing for Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock’s Cold Spring Pictures.
Last summer, having taken part in the first two Dune deals, SocGen took the lead in the $580 million Dune III, most of which took the form of debt arranged by the Gallic bank.