Co-heads, entertainment industries
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Stearns says the high end of the movie business is bankable because of its good content, risk-mitigation strategies and distribution clout. “The rich have gotten richer in motion-picture land,” he adds, referring to a growing divide between risky and less risky projects. Following the credit crisis of 2008-2009, some banks exited Hollywood. Those remaining, while competitive with each other, partner on deals to share risk across banking syndicates, adds Timmons, the other entertainment co-head. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is left-side lead arranger/advisor for more than $1.5 billion in new entertainment financings for Content Partners, FilmNation, DreamWorks Animation, Legendary Pictures, Open Road films, Dune Entertainment (Fox slate), RatPac-Dune (Warner Bros. slate) and various project financings.