An Ingenious distribution move

U.K. media financier builds fund for 100 pictures

U.K.-based media financier Ingenious said Tuesday that it plans to raise €150 million ($203 million) for a movie distribution fund.

The firm, whose name is synonymous with tax-fueled production funding, said it will invest alongside European indie distributors to snap up rights to upcoming productions and libraries. Ingenious also aims to finance the marketing costs for titles on the fund.

The London-based company said the fund should be large enough to co-finance the distribution of more than 100 movies.

Ingenious intends to take a "slate approach," backing a distributor's entire portfolio of films. It has not made clear whether it will partner exclusively with a single distributor in each territory or whether it expects to fuel the release of competing slates of movies.

"Film distribution is one of the most profitable yet underinvested parts of the global film industry," Ingenious commercial director Duncan Reid said. "The new fund will provide much-needed capital for independent distributors looking to build larger film portfolios and improve their bargaining power with broadcasters and DVD retailers."

Reid noted that the fund gives investors exposure to "the most secure revenue stream in film" and would offer "an attractive risk/return profile."

Ingenious will raise the fund from institutional investors and high net-worth individuals via a private placement of loan notes to be listed in Ireland.

The small print reveals the minimum investment is $1 million, and the fund is targeting a 25% internal rate of return.
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