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Solar Pictures sets financing unit

Andrew Robinson to lead operation

Newly minted production company Solar Pictures has launched a full-service specialty financing division dubbed Solar Media Capital and hired former Comerica Entertainment Group exec Andrew Robinson to manage the new operation.

The new entity is aimed at providing all levels of financing and offer alternatives not consistently covered by banks or credit investors such as single picture financing (gap, super gap, tax credits, foreign rights sales), bridge lending, library loans, P&A funding, film ultimate lending, as well as distressed and/or special situations lending.

Solar Media Capital will operate as a subsidiary of Solar Entertainment Group — which is backed by Edward Lawson Johnston, founder of the London-based merchant bank LJ Group; the New York-based Shu family, with holdings in real estate and energy in the U.S., Romania and China; and Romanian billionaire Bobby Paunescu, who operates industrial conglomerates in Central and Eastern Europe, with businesses ranging from wind energy parks, insurance, transportation, hotels, agriculture, mining and real estate development to media.

Solar Entertainment Group’s Jared Underwood said, “Solar Media Capital is an integral component of what we are building at Solar Entertainment Group. Now we can not only provide filmmakers with production services at our facilities in Romania but also provide them with all their capital needs.”

Underwood worked with Robinson at Comerica, where the latter managed relationships including Exclusive Media Group, Lionsgate, Nu Image, Relativity and Tyler Perry Studios as well as its sports portfolio and structured over $2.2 billion in loan commitments.

Robinson said, “Solar Media Capital will provide filmmakers with nimble, creative and comprehensive solutions to their financing needs.”

Solar announced on Oct. 25 that it had closed deals to finance and produce a quartet of feature projects, “Dark Corners,” “Jonestown,” “Jet Black” and “The Girl Who Knew Too Much,” with shooting planned for early to mid-2013.

Solar launched in March with the goal of producing four to five movies a year with budgets up to $40 million.

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