Milchan finalizes New Regency stake

Mogul pays $324 million for Packer's share

Arnon Milchan has closed his $324 million purchase of James Packer’s 25.4% stake in the parent of New Regency Prods., asserting the deal underlines his “bullish” outlook for feature and TV production.

The deal to buy back the 25.4% interest in Monarchy Enterprises Holdings from the Aussie media magnate had been first disclosed five months ago (Daily Variety, Nov. 16).

Milchan already owned a 55% share in the company, which has spawned “L.A. Confidential,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Jumper.” Twentieth Century Fox owns the remaining 20%, which it bought a decade ago for $200 million.

Regency’s upcoming slate includes “What Happens in Vegas,” “Marley and Me,” “Mirrors,” “Meet Dave,” “They Came From Upstairs” and “Bride Wars.”

Milchan said in a statement the deal will enable him to focus on movies and TV with the interests of only Regency and Fox, which relies on its on-the-lot partner for a steady stream of product.

“With Fox as a distribution and production partner, I couldn’t be in a better position,” he added. “I see a tremendous growth opportunity going forward for this company.”

Packer’s father, the late Kerry Packer, bought into Regency in 1994 through his Nine Network Australia.

“James Packer is a great friend and business partner,” Milchan said in a statement. “We have other investments together, and we will continue to search for opportunities that would be mutually beneficial to both of our interests, but James is focusing his efforts on the casino business and I am now focusing on Regency.”

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