Aegis Film Fund to invest in film industry

Cash pool derived from U.K. partnership

LONDON -- A startup movie tax fund to cover debt is just what the doctor ordered for the U.K. film industry. On Wednesday, Aegis Film Fund launched with a £50 million pot to do just that.

Aegis plans to use the cash pool to invest in film and media content by "providing various forms of short to medium term loans and debt, including discounting of government tax credits and presales contracts, basic gap funding and secured bridge financing."

The fund is advised by Aegis Capital Partners, a U.K. partnership set up by Prescience Film Finance, accountancy firm Chancery (UK) LLP and Square Mile executives Chris Smith and Colin Brumpton.

The fund said Wednesday that it already has committed an undisclosed amount of cash to its first project, the Ian Dury biopic "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll," directed by Mat Whitecross.

Aegis is targeting a return on investment for its backers of 15% per year, after costs.

"With funds of up to $50 million to commit this year Aegis is focusing on top end independent productions in the $8 million-$25 million budget range, with an established group of producers," Aegis director and Prescience Film Finance managing director Tim Smith said. "In the current financial climate we are seeking to provide competitive finance that, to a certain extent, is helping to fill the gap left by the European banks. On certain projects, equity can also be made available from other Prescience managed funds."
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