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Village Roadshow Completes $480 Million Recapitalization

Village Roadshow Entertainment Group has completed a $480 million recapitalization, including $325 million of new capital from a consortium of investors.

The funds cover such upcoming tentpole projects as Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” and Guy Ritchie’s “Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur.”

The Australia-based media giant said the recapitalization has led to a renewal of its $750 million film production facility that finances the Village Roadshow Pictures library of 85 titles co-produced with Warner Bros., Sony Pictures and other distributors.

Village Roadshow co-financed and produced seven films in 2014 and 2015, including “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “American Sniper.” It previously brought in new capital in 2012 when it struck a debt and equity deal for $275 million with Trinity Opportunities Limited.

The $325 million of new capital comes from Vine Alternative Investments, Falcon Investment Advisors, and Village Roadshow Limited. The facility was arranged by VREG and placed by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, with Moelis & Company acting as financial adviser, and was done in conjunction with Village’s joint syndication agents Rabobank International and J.P. Morgan Securities.

“This funding demonstrates the underlying strength of Village Roadshow Pictures and its longevity in the industry,” said Graham Burke, VREG chairman and co-chairman and co-CEO of Village Roadshow Limited.

“With this new phase, we are thrilled to be moving towards our third decade of filmmaking in partnership with Warner Bros. and the start of our journey with Sony,” said Greg Basser, CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. “This capital will strengthen VREG’s financial resources and our capacity to make more films.”

Upcoming Village Roadshow titles this year include Sony’s “Goosebumps,” starring Jack Black; Warner’s “In The Heart Of The Sea,” starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Ron Howard; and Sony’s “Concussion,” starring Will Smith and directed by Peter Landesman.

The 2016 slate includes Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Grimsby”; Warner’s “Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgard; Sony’s female “Ghostbusters”; Ritchie’s “King Arthur”; “The Magnificent Seven” remake; and Sony’s “Passengers,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

The initial 2017 titles include Sony’s “The Equalizer 2,” starring Denzel Washington, and Warner’s Spielberg tentpole “Ready Player One.”

“We are excited to continue growing our lineup of co-produced films with our partners and build off recent hits ‘American Sniper’ and ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ with highly anticipated films including “In The Heart of the Sea’ and ‘King Arthur’ with Warner Bros. and ‘Concussion’ and ‘Ghostbusters’ with Sony,” said Bruce Berman, Chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures.

The facility will also support upcoming projects out of the Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, including the release of “Mountain Cry,” which will close the Busan Film Festival next month.

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