Relativity Announces It Has Secured $400 Million From Maple Leaf Films
The agreement will finance 75 percent of future Relativity films for the next five years, the two companies said.
With Relativity Media facing a hearing on Friday in which U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Michael Wiles will review its plan to exit bankruptcy, the company said Wednesday that it has secured $400 million in equity film financing from Michael Wexler and Tove Christensen’s Maple Leaf Films.
According to an announcement from Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity and Maple Leaf, the two companies have executed a binding agreement for Maple Leaf to finance 75 percent of future Relativity Media films on an annual basis for the next five years.
Maple Leaf Films is part of the Maple Leaf Capital Group of companies focusing on hedge funds, real estate and film finances, with offices in London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Maple Leaf entered film finance in 2005, providing equity, debt or both for small to mid-size indie films.
Maple Leaf was involved in the release of Thomas Jane/Laurence Fishburne thriller Standoff, which Saban Films picked up for distribution. Upcoming projects include Kellie Madison's The Tank, starring Jack Davenport, and Jonathan Mostow's Hunter's Prayer, starring Sam Worthington.
As the bankruptcy case has unfolded, Relativity said it had lined up more than $100 million in new financing. Although that didn't ultimately materilize, Wiles said in February that he would approve Relativity's plan to exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but he has been waiting for assurances that the company has locked up $80 million in additional funding. Since then, Relativity replaced a $20 million equity pledge with two loans totalling $75 million.
The judge was also waiting to see evidence of Relativity's deal to acquire Trigger Street Productions and its contracts with Trigger Street's Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti, who were to run Relativity's film operations, the company announced in January. However, on March 12, Relativity filed papers with the court saying that Spacey had decided against becoming chairman and was stepping away, while Brunetti would run Relativity's film business, sharing greenlight authority with Kavanaugh.