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Amid a tumultuous moment for both Hollywood and the banking sector, Legendary Entertainment has secured a significant line of credit with JPMorgan to help it continue producing movies and TV series.
The company says it has inked a five-year, $800 million credit facility being led by J.P. Morgan, replacing a previous 2018 credit facility that the independent entertainment firm had signed with the mega-bank.
The deal is a vote of confidence in the company as the lending market begins to tighten amid a challenging macroeconomic environment and rising interest rates.
Led by CEO Joshua Grode, Legendary is behind films like the Dune and Godzilla franchises. Earlier this month, it also secured the film and TV rights for the video game franchise Street Fighter. And $800 million can go a long way toward financing productions.
Late last year, the company also struck a multiyear deal with Sony to distribute and market its new films.
The new credit line also comes more than a year after Legendary sold a $760 million minority stake to the private equity giant Apollo. China’s Dalian Wanda Group continues to be Legendary’s majority owner.
“We are pleased to extend our relationship with J.P. Morgan as we continue to grow our global film and TV pipeline and monetize our IP across multiple platforms. The success of our film and television productions from our creative team led by Mary Parent reflects our intentional strategy of creating compelling content that resonates with audiences around the world,” said Grode in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging our relationship to further build upon a proven track record of critical and commercial success.”
“Through ongoing commercial success, Legendary has built a premier company and has positioned itself as a true market leader,” said David Shaheen, head of entertainment industries for J.P. Morgan’s Corporate Client Banking Group. “We are very pleased to have executed a highly successful transaction with broad support from the entertainment banking community.”
Legendary’s credit facility also suggests that there is life in the entertainment banking sector, after the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank sent shockwaves through the economy. While Hollywood giants have banking relationships with some of the major players, smaller studios have typically relied on regional banks that specialize in entertainment clients.
Legendary already had a relationship with J.P. Morgan before the new deal, but the deal getting done suggests that there is still an appetite for some risk-taking in the entertainment sector from big banks.
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