Waving off reports of potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, Megan Ellison addressed the staff of her indie film company Annapurna Pictures, saying she has no intention of losing her grip on the pedigreed and financially turbulent studio.
The message came after Deadline first reported that the film mogul and father Larry Ellison are playing hardball with bank lenders over purchasing back over $200 million of Annapurna’s debt, Megan Ellison called the issues a matter of “restructuring,” and assured employees their jobs were safe.
“None of that matters to me,” Ellison wrote in a memo obtained by Variety. “What does is your sense of security and protecting the special community and culture at Annapurna. I believe in what we make and have no intention of stopping any time soon.”
Variety reported extensively in March about a string of films whose performances resulted in a roughly $35 million material loss including the kind of provocative dramas the 8-year-old shop has become known for — Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Adam McKay’s “Vice”and Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer.”
Once this year’s Oscars were handed out, Larry Ellison stepped in with financial advisors to stop the bleeding. His influence and other underlying factors resulted in the departure of two high profile film projects — Jay Roach’s movie about the Roger Ailes scandal, and the Jennifer Lopez stripper drama “Hustlers — in addition to a reshuffling of Annapurna’s joint distribution venture with MGM, now called United Artists Releasing.
Read the full memo below:
Dear AP Team,
I got word this morning that there are some rumblings around town about our current status with the banks and that a story is likely to hit the press at some point today.
Restructuring deals with financial institutions is not uncommon, yet the process is usually handled without a spotlight on it. Fortunately/unfortunately, people like to write about me and my family.
That said, it is of tremendous importance to me that you all know we are as committed as ever to this company and are in full support of our future.
Regardless of whatever comes out in the press, the truth is that we are well on our continued path towards success. There will always be speculation, misinformation and personal jabs in the press – that’s part of the business.
But know, none of that matters to me. What does is your sense of security and protecting the special community and culture at Annapurna. I believe in what we make and have no intention of stopping any time soon.
We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon and I have no doubt all of our hard work will continue to show Annapurna’s unique and powerful place in this industry.
If you have any questions or want to talk, please do not hesitate to reach out.