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Relativity Raises $250 Million From San Francisco Investment Firm

Relativity Media has secured a round of fresh financing from VII Peaks Capital ahead of its long-planned IPO, sources confirm.

Ryan Kavanaugh’s film and television studio is getting an injection of $250 million in funding from the San Francisco investment management firm, which isn’t a usual source of finance for Hollywood.

The deal follows months in which Relativity made the rounds with hedge funds and investors amid what sources described as a cash crunch at the company. A source close to the company disputed that characterization and said the equity investment was sought as a means of strengthening its balance sheet in preparation for an IPO sometime in 2016.

“We have executed a deal which will bring significant equity into Relativity ahead of a planned IPO. Relativity is in a better position as a diversified global media company than ever, and it remains under Ryan’s leadership,” said VII Peaks’ managing partner and chief investment officer Gurpreet Chandhoke in a statement.

Relativity had a disappointing year at the box office in 2014, with several titles underperforming, such as “Brick Mansions” and “The November Man.” This year, films such as “The Lazarus Effect” and “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” have been performing somewhat better.

The 11 year-old company also has a busy TV division that produces such as MTV’s reality hit “Catfish,” Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” and We TV’s “Sex Box.”

CEO Kavanaugh, who is reportedly also investing $25 million of his own funds in the Peaks Capital agreement, is the largest shareholder in Relativity. Minority investor Elliot Management sold part of its stake to investor Ron Burkle in 2012, while Dune Capital Partners IV, Steven Mnuchin and Kavanaugh bought out much of Elliott’s stake in 2014, with Mnuchin named as co-chairman.

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