Hedge Fund’s “Terminator” Buy Upheld

Feb 11 2010 | 8:09am ET

Hedge fund Pacificor’s purchase of “The Terminator” action-movie franchise is official.

A federal bankruptcy judge approved its sale to the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based firm, which helped finance former owner Halcyon Holdings’ acquisition of its rights two years ago. At a Monday auction, Pacificor entered the winning bid—a credit bid against the millions it claimed Halcyon still owed it.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ernest Robles in Los Angeles rejected an objection leveled by the two losing bidders for the “Terminator” rights, Sony Pictures’ Columbia Pictures and Lions Gate Entertainment. The two Hollywood studios, which entered a joint $35.6 million bid, cried foul at last-minute changes that allowed Pacificor to make a credit bid of up to $38 million.

In the end, it didn’t even take that much. Pacificor’s bid was $29.5 million. But the hedge fund’s offer of future payments to Halcyon—$5 million per sequel—trumped that offered by Sony and Lions Gate, which would have paid the bankrupt company $2 million per sequel after the next one.

Robles ruled that Pacificor’s bid was a better deal for Halcyon’s unsecured creditors.

Pacificor is now in talks with several studios about a production and distribution deal for future “Terminator” films. It had reportedly been in talks to flip the franchise to Sony and Lions Gate, but it is unclear if those discussions are still ongoing.

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