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Dan Timmons & Brian Stearns, co-heads of Entertainment Industries Group & Amit Bajaj, director investment banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Dealmakers Impact Report 2012: Financiers

This trio of executives provided $600 million in new or extended credit lines to Hollywood companies in 2012. New this year is $100 million in project financing for single-picture loans secured by Lionsgate, Alliance Films and others. “That’s $100 million in new capacity for the market,” says Stearns. “The industry is a voracious consumer of capital considering the need for funding film production, TV production and other new content.” Additional Hollywood clients for bigger corporate credit financings include DreamWorks Animation, Legendary Pictures and MGM. Further, the Bank of America unit is administrative agent for Dune Entertainment, which invests in the Fox film slate, and also joint lead arranger for movie fund Beverly 2. The unit served as financial adviser to Global Eagle Acquisition on its announced acquisition in November of two in-flight entertainment services companies. It offers commercial bank loans to media and entertainment companies as well as investment banking services that range from merger-and-acquisition advice to helping raise money on Wall Street. “We’re one of the few institutions that offer this integrated model,” says Timmons. In a new marketplace wrinkle, director of investment banking Bajaj finds that Hollywood’s medium-size companies are increasingly considering funding from Wall Street. That would allow them to feed from the same capital trough as the big media conglomerates, while in the past these smaller outfits were largely limited to commercial loan borrowing.

Outside the Office: All three: wife and family

Top Causes: Stearns: Education Through Music-Los Angeles; Timmons: Five Acres family services; Bajaj: West Hollywood Elementary School.

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