UPDATE: I understand that Legendary Entertainment founder/chief Thomas Tull took an extraordinary role in personally (and unusually) wheeling-dealing these 2 equity and debt financing deals. Fideltity Investments also is one of the major investors on the equity side, but Morgan Stanley was the lead on the equity side and gave upwards of $60 million. That’s a big chunk. Not only will the money be used to finance Legendary’s own slate of pictures (as opposed to the co-financing deal it has with Warner Bros), but Tull will more heavily move the company into creating intellectual property on the comics side.
BREAKING… The $275 million consists of two separate equity and debt financing deals for Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment. The equity component consists of $128 million in new financing from a collection of new and existing investors. Existing Legendary equity investors who participated in this round include Jim Breyer and Breyer Capital and Accel Partners, IDG Capital Partners, and Gordy Crawford. New investors in Legendary include Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital LLC, and Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures. Additionally, Legendary simultaneously closed a new $150 million round of debt financing structured and arranged by JPMorgan, Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada and UBS who all served as co-leads. Goldman Sachs was sole agent to Legendary in the equity financing, and Goldman Sachs Lending Partners participated in the bank financing.
Legendary will use the proceeds of these transactions to retire and refinance debt incurred in connection with Legendary’s 2010 recapitalization, more than 18 months prior to its scheduled maturity. Plans for the monies also include adding investment and working capital as Legendary readies projects across its filmed entertainment, publishing and television business units.
Separately Legendary East expects to announce its financial and distribution arrangements later this year. On December 31, 2011, the date pre-arranged by Legendary and its partners, Legendary East allowed its previously contemplated business structure to lapse, enabling it to explore relationships with new distribution and financial partners.
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