Luc Besson's EuropaCorp Arranges $600 Million in Credit Facilities

Universal
Scarlett Johansson in EuropaCorp's 'Lucy'

The money will primarily be used to finance an ambitious slate of English-language movies

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has arranged for $600 million in financing, mostly to support plans for an ambitious slate of English-language movies.

The money will be used for production, marketing and distribution costs. North American distribution will be through a joint venture with Relativity Media called Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution.

At the same time, EuropaCorp has repaid $160 million in credit facilities that had been borrowed in euros.

The new lines of credit, all in American dollars, consist of a $400 million senior line of credit (€178 million); a $150 million accordion (meaning it can expand as needed); and a $50 million second lien credit facility.

“The success of the deal,” according to an announcement Wednesday, “illustrates the increased confidence in EuropaCorp’s credit quality and financial solidity.”

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J.P. Morgan acted as the administrative agent and led the lead bookrunner (the syndicator). SunTrust Bank and OneWest Bank are joint bookrunners and co-lead arrangers.

The credit facility also includes two French banks, one of which is Natixis.

EuropaCorp was advised by Jeantet (Arnaud de Senihes) and Hogan Lovells (Sheri Jeffrey). J. P. Morgan was advised by Morgan Lewis (Richard Pettreti).

Besson, who is a writer and producer as well as a director, founded EuropaCorp, based in Paris, in 1999 and holds about 62 percent of the equity. It has its own foreign sales operation and also produces for television. It has produced about 80 movies — including the Taken and Transporter franchises — and markets a library of about 500 films, according to the announcement, and has 150 permanent staff members.

In April, EuropaCorp released the science fiction thriller Lucy, directed by Besson and starring Scarlett Johansson, through Universal Pictures. It has grossed about $415 million worldwide ($126 million of which came from North America). 

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