There’s no debt crisis in Hollywood, judging by the hundreds of millions of dollars heading toward New Regency and Media Rights Capital through revolving credit facilities.
Those deals, both led by JP-Morgan, offer more evidence that banks are in a mood to lend to showbiz entities deemed safe bets.
MRC on Tuesday announced it has closed a deal for a $350 million revolving credit facility that will help the company expand and develop projects. Senior debt from banks including Bank of America, SunTrust and Union Bank made up the total dollar amount.
MRC has a distribution deal with Universal; upcoming is the release of Neill Blomkamp’s “Elysium” via Sony. In TV, MRC is co-producing CBS sitcom “How to Be a Gentleman” and is financing the David Fincher-Kevin Spacey drama series “House of Cards,” licensed by Netflix.
Regency’s facility will likely close at nearly $550 million with the potential to balloon to $700 million, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. The company has long been a draw for investors thanks to its long history and relationship with 20th Century Fox (including low distribution fees) and library of films. New pact, co-led by Bank of America, will replace the company’s existing credit facility, set to expire next year.
New Regency went into the market to raise funds last month. At that point, however, it looked like Arnon Milchan’s shingle was aiming for $500 million. More banks wanted to participate than Regency anticipated, allowing the company the flexibility to tap more coin if needed. The credit facility is coming together despite the news, which broke after Regency first solicited loan offers, that company co-chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker will leave the company at year’s end. Brad Weston, a former Dimension Films and Paramount exec, joined the company as president and CEO soon after word came of their departure.
Among Regency’s upcoming releases are “What’s Your Number?,” bowing later this month, followed by “In Time” in October and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” in December. Production shingle was recently in talks to co-finance “Luna,” with Doug Liman attached to direct, with Paramount. Summit will unspool New Regency’s “The Darkest Hour” in December.