Media companies usually don’t crow about the size of their revolving credit facilities. But Lionsgate‘s release today makes it clear that it sees its new deal as a vote of confidence by the banking community in the independent studio’s prospects following its acquisition of Summit Entertainment and success with The Hunger Games. JPMorgan Entertainment Industries Group’s David Shaheen calls it “a testament to the Company’s strong relationships with the financing community and the value of its franchises and filmed entertainment library, and it reflects the significant recent expansion of the Company’s borrowing base.”

The new facility replaces the five-year one due to expire this July. It carries the same interest rate, LIBOR plus 2.5% — which translates to about 3% in today’s low interest rate environment. That should enable the studio to pay down its $436M in high-yield debt which carries a 10% interest rate, potentially resulting in a savings of as much as $30M a year just on interest payments. Big as the Lionsgate facility is, it’s still smaller than Viacom’s $2B facility in 2010 and DreamWorks Animation’s $1B one in 2003.

Here’s the release:

SANTA MONICA, CA, and VANCOUVER, BC  September 27, 2012 — Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, has entered into a new five-year, $800 million revolving credit facility, one of the largest revolving credit facilities raised by an entertainment company in more than a decade, the Company announced today.  The new facility helps position Lionsgate for continued growth and enables the Company to capitalize on long-term strategic opportunities and meet long-term financial objectives.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. served as Administrative Agent with JP Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Bank Plc, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Royal Bank of Canada acting as Co-Syndication Agents, Joint Bookrunners and Joint Lead Arrangers, Wells Fargo Bank serving as Co-Syndication Agent, and SunTrust Bank and Union Bank acting as Co-Documentation Agents.  The new facility replaces Lionsgate’s previous $340 million revolving credit facility.

“The size of the new facility is a testament to the Company’s strong relationships with the financing community and the value of its franchises and filmed entertainment library, and it reflects the significant recent expansion of the Company’s borrowing base,” said David Shaheen, Managing Director and head of JPMorgan’s Entertainment Industries Group. “This new facility will be an important resource in helping Lionsgate to continue executing its long-term growth plan.”

Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment in January 2012 and launched the first film of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise, which became the 13th highest-grossing North American release of all time, in March 2012.  The Company will release Summit’s THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2 on November 16, 2012 and the next installment of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, on November 22, 2013.

The new facility was orchestrated for Lionsgate by Vice Chairman Michael Burns, Executive Vice President Corporate Development Brian Goldsmith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President Corporate Operations Wayne Levin and Chief Financial Officer Jim Keegan.  Lionsgate was represented by the law firms O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Heenan Blaikie LLP.

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