Asian Alts. Firms To Buy Elliott's Hollywood Studio Stake?

Aug 16 2011 | 7:56am ET

Elliott Associates-backed movie studio Relativity Media may have achieved two goals at a stroke: gaining access to the Chinese market and getting rid of Elliott.

Relativity this week announced that it has struck a deal with two Asian alternative investments firms, private equity shop SAIF Partners and hedge fund IDG China Media, to develop, distribute and acquire Chinese material—both for the Chinese and world markets.

But, according to the New York Post, the two firms are also in talks about joining a JPMorgan Chase-led consortium to provide financing for Relativity's fall release, "The Immortals"—and to buy out Elliott's 49% stake in the studio.

Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh is trying to engineer that sale; the JPMorgan group would pay as much as $750 million to Elliott for the stake.

Elliott has said it is not interested in selling its minority stake in Relativity. But Kavanaugh reportedly has an option to buy the hedge fund out. Relations between the two sides have soured in recent years. Elliott, which has invested more than $1 billion in Relativity, earlier this year installed the studio's former number two, Michael Joe, within the hedge fund to oversee Relativity.


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