EXCLUSIVE: This is a big deal — both because it’s a new line of business for Media Rights Capital, and because the company was able to raise the cash at a time when the lending markets remain tight. Private equity firm ABRY Partners was the lead investor in the $175M equity sale. It joins AT&T, WPP Group, and Goldman Sachs, which just increased their stakes in the independent film and TV studio that’s behind Universal’s hit film Ted and Netflix’s House Of Cards. MRC plans to use the cash to co-finance films. It will work with multiple major studios, but doesn’t have its eye on any particular projects yet. It can expect lots of offers: Studios are eager to find co-finance partners to help reduce their investment risks. And MRC can participate in several projects since it’s free to recycle returns from its investments to support other films. “MRC will approach studios as a financial partner, as well as an operating partner where we can,” MRC co-CEO and co-founder Asif Satchu says. Investment bank Moelis & Co and J.P. Morgan advised MRC and helped raise the capital. This is the first funding deal for MRC since 2011, when it closed a $350M revolving credit facility.

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