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Sony Pictures nearing a new co-financing deal

October 04, 2013|By Daniel Miller
  • Sony Corp. headquarters in Tokyo.
Sony Corp. headquarters in Tokyo. (Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP/Getty…)

Sony Pictures Entertainment is finalizing a new co-financing deal with Blue Anchor Entertainment, a venture from showbiz lawyer John LaViolette and "Doctor Dolittle" producer Joseph Singer, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

The three-year equity financing arrangement would provide Sony Pictures with $300 million to $350 million, executives close to the talks who were not authorized to comment publicly said. The arrangement could also include a credit facility.

Sony Pictures, a unit of Tokyo-based Sony Corp., declined to comment. LaViolette, a partner at entertainment business law firm Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, did not immediately return a request seeking comment.

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Sony Pictures previously had a financing deal with Relativity Media; the arrangement, which provided the studio with more than $500 million, expired in 2011.

The studio had a tough summer at the box office, with films "After Earth" and "White House Down" turning in disappointing runs. In May, activist investor Daniel Loeb, whose Third Point hedge fund owns about 7% of Sony, called for the electronics and media giant to make a public offering of up to 20% of its entertainment arm. 

Loeb later criticized Sony's entertainment business for being "poorly managed." Sony rejected Loeb's proposal in August.

In recent months, a handful of other studios have secured new financing arrangements. In July, Universal Pictures cut a new deal with Legendary Entertainment, and on Monday, Warner Bros. closed another with RatPac-Dune Entertainment.

Warner Bros.' new four-year deal is valued at about $450 million, and will cover as many as 75 titles from the Burbank-based studio.


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Daniel Miller

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