Elliott To Sell Hollywood Studio Stake

Jan 6 2012 | 9:09am ET

Elliott Associates has sold most of its stake in movie studio Relativity Media to private equity billionaire Ron Burkle.

Burkle, who late last year helped keep Relativity afloat with a $200 million loan to finance marketing and production costs for two Relativity films, will pau several hundred million dollars for the stake, according to published reports. He becomes the Hollywood studio's second-largest shareholder after CEO Ryan Kavanaugh.

Elliott will retain a smaller stake in Relativity and remains the studio's third-largest shareholder.

Kavanaugh has been seeking a buyer for Elliott's 49% stake in the studio since Elliott, which has financed the studio to the tune of more than $1 billion, began to tighten the strings. Elliott last year moved Relativity's former number two, Michael Joe, within the hedge fund to oversee the studio. Joe announced his resignation from Elliott this week due to the hedge fund's reduction of focus—and investment—in the firm industry.

"My passion is to be an active participant within the media and entertainment industry," Joe said.

Joe's successor as vice president for international business development at Relativity, Paul Davidge, left the studio this week, following the exit of Brian Edwards as chief operating officer in October. President Steve Bertram is also mulling an exit, according to TheWrap.


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