Relativity, Elliott Hammer Out Movie Deal

Feb 29 2008 | 10:41am ET

A private equity firm and hedge fund will be seeing stars, and lots of them, under a movie co-financing deal.

Relativity Capital and Elliott Associates have agreed to provide at least $1 billion to co-finance no fewer than 75% of Universal Pictures’ films over the next four years.

Under the deal between the firms' investment entity, Relativity Media, and Universal, Relativity Media will share in the profits of roughly 45 films through 2011, while Universal will be able to exclude up to two films a year for budget purposes. Relativity can reject up to three films per year.

“Over the last few years, we have considered many slate financing deals. These deals have nearly always paired a strong and profitable studio with a poor structure, or a weak and unprofitable studio with a good structure. This is the first deal we’ve seen that matches a top-tier studio with a structure that properly aligns the interests of all parties," said Jesse Cohn of Elliott Associates.

"Universal's track record and focus on profitability are what motivated us to form this partnership, and their willingness to structure a fair and reasonable transaction speaks volumes about their commitment to a lasting relationship. This is exactly the deal we have been waiting for.”

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