Open Road Bankruptcy Sale to Raven Capital Approved by Judge

Donald Tang
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A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved the $87.5 million sale of Open Road Films to Raven Capital Management.

The sale is expected to close on Friday. Judge Laurie Silverstein approved the deal after hearing that various objections had been resolved. Raven Capital submitted the only bid for the company.

Open Road declared bankruptcy in September after parent company Tang Media Partners failed to raise fresh capital from its Chinese backers. TMP had acquired the U.S. distributor only a year earlier, and sought to combine it with foreign sales firm IM Global to create a worldwide studio.

The company ramped up hiring in early 2018. But it endured a series of flops, including “A.X.L.” and “Hotel Artemis,” and pulled the Johnny Depp film “City of Lies” from its release schedule in August. On the date of its bankruptcy, the company declared $140 million in secured and unsecured debt.

Open Road was launched in 2011 as a joint venture of Regal Entertainment and AMC Entertainment. The distributor released 45 films, including “Spotlight,” which won the Academy Award for best picture in 2016.

Producers of several films filed objections in the bankruptcy court, arguing that the rights to distribute the films should not be transferred to Raven Capital until past due payments are received. The buyers agreed to pay $320,000 to the producers of “Spotlight” to assume the film’s distribution agreement. The producers had initially sought $1.5 million. The producers of “Chef,” the 2014 film directed by Jon Favreau, claimed they were owed $7.5 million, and ultimately settled for $600,000.

Raven Capital Management previously partnered with Ambi Group to acquire most of the 400-title library of Exclusive Media.