Focus: Media and money

A special report on private-equity activities in the entertainment and media industries.

European union
America has a long history of elevating media dealmakers to superhero status. But a new breed of private equity X-Men are powering through the European entertainment landscape.

Euro regulators mostly hands-off
While some in the U.S. Congress are gunning for private equity companies, usually protectionist Europe has been mainly hands-off when it comes to regulation of PE-driven takeovers.

Asia feasts on funds
A credit crunch may be slowing private equity flowing into U.S. and European media, but in cash-rich Asia, credit is a smaller issue and film funds have not yet lost their flash.

Lions or lambs?
Three years since hedge funds and other Wall Street financing vehicles started looking at the major studios as a way to diversify assets, it is far from certain that these investments will pay off.

Bull, pinned
An increase in deal multiples financed by the cheap debt that investment banks have made available by the billions has brought the flow of PE-led buyouts in the media and entertainment field to an abrupt halt.

CHART: Slate of play
Wall Street money has flooded the film industry, remaking studio business models in the process. A sampling of top privately financed film slate deals from August 2004 through August 2007.
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CHART: Binge and merge
High deal multiples and this summer's credit crunch has slowed the recent bull run of private-equity-backed M&A activity in the media and entertainment space. A look at some of the largest private acquisitions in the sector announced in 2006 and 2007 (through October.)
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Tax man eyeing PE profits
The private equity firms that have pumped billions into Hollywood may have dodged a U.S. legislative bullet this year, as attempts to raise taxes on the funds by treating their profits as regular income have faltered.

Dialogue: Ryan Kavanaugh
The CEO of Relativity Media has been at the center of several major private-equity-backed slate deals whose performances have been much debated.

Reality dawns
While banks and private equity consortia recently have pumped billions into diversified studio slates, many movies are still financed the older way: by individual, one-off investors.

ON THE MONEY: On Nov. 7-8, the Nielsen Co., parent of The Hollywood Reporter, will join with Dow Jones to present the Media and Money conference at the Grand Hyatt in New York. The event will include discussions with some of media and entertainment's top dealmakers and investors, including Viacom chair Sumner Redstone; Time Warner president and COO Jeffrey Bewkes; Michael Eisner of the Tornate Co.; Roy Salter of the Salter Group; Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins; Michael Lynne, co-CEO of New Line Cinema; Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh; Chip Seelig, managing director of Dune Capital; Norman Pearlstein of the Carlyle Group; Columbia Pictures COO Bob Osher; and Jeff Berg, chairman and CEO of ICM, as well as panels moderated by THR executive editor Paula Parisi and New York bureau chief and business editor Georg Szalai. For more information, visit
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