Village Roadshow Lands New Majority Investors
The company intends to build an independent film slate with the new infusion, in addition to continuing to co-finance major Hollywood titles with longtime partner Warner Bros. and other studios.
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group is making a major bid to take the lead on a portion of its film and television slate.
To that end, private equity firms Vine Alternative and Falcon Investment Advisors have acquired a controlling interest in Village Roadshow. Parent company Village Roadshow Limited, based in Australia, remains a significant and strategic shareholder.
Under the new mandate, VREG will pursue partnerships with content companies, Hollywood producers and filmmakers in developing and creating its own IP. This will supplement the company's established business as a leading co-producer and co-financier of major studio fare.
Village Roadshow's longtime go-to partner is Warner Bros. Village Roadshow co-financed and co-produced the Matrix franchise, Sherlock Holmes, the Ocean's franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, American Sniper and Happy Feet. Upcoming Warner Bros./Village Roadshow titles include King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The House, Ready Player One, Ocean's Eight and The Lego Ninajago Movie.
The deal with Vine and Falcon was announced Wednesday by Vine CEO Jim Moore — who has assumed the role of chairman of VREG — and Village Roadshow Limited co-chairman and co-CEO Graham Burke, who continues in his role as chairman of Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP). Greg Basser remains CEO of VREG, while Bruce Berman remains chairman-CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment.
Vine initially became an investor in 2015 and has since partnered with VREG on a number of key strategic initiatives. (Vine also has an investment in Alcon Entertainment.)
“We are beyond excited to be able to partner with VREG,” said Moore. “To acquire a platform such as this, with its rich history, talented executives and incredible library of iconic films, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Together with our partners VRL and Falcon, we see a unique opportunity to leverage VREG into a broad-based, global media company that will foster and support independent creativity and occupy a unique position in the media and entertainment world.”
Added Berman, "The next phase of Village Roadshow Pictures will build on our 20-year trajectory of delivering global franchises, blockbuster films and ground-breaking content alongside our partners to taking a larger creative stake in the development of content and great storytelling.”
The Raine Group serves as corporate and strategic advisor to VREG.