Dealmakers Will Target Entertainment Firms As Hunger For Content Grows: Forecast

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 9:01pm PDT

This will be a good year for content creators to put themselves on the block, researchers at PwC project today in a report about likely M&A activity in 2013. Corporate Read More »

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Lesson Of Toronto: Indie Filmmakers Better Keep Budgets Low As Distribs Grow Stingier

Mike Fleming

Ben AffleckHollywood runs on perception, and the vibe on the recently completed Toronto Film Festival is that the marketplace was a smashing success because of the high volume of acquisitions. The festival itself reported there were 29 major Read More »

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In Other Deals …

By | Thursday March 31, 2011 @ 5:49pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Former cop and Gangster Squad scribe Will Beall will script the Logan’s Run remake that director Nicolas Winding Refn will do with Ryan Gosling. … Vulture reports that Diego Gonzalez Boneta has bagged the male lead in Rock of Ages, … Read More »

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Miramax Putting Together Exec Team

The long-running drama of MGM should play out by tomorrow when creditors decide whether or not to embrace a restructuring package that puts Spyglass partners Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber in control or instead give the MGM assets to Carl Icahn and Lionsgate. Elsewhere, Miramax Films, the other endless custody … Read More »

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CAA Sells 35% Minority Interest To TPG: Lovett Says “This Strategic Partnership Marks New Start For Agency’s Future”

By | Friday October 1, 2010 @ 2:25pm PDT

2ND UPDATE 2:20 PM: Sources are now telling me the investment in CAA is tantamount to “hundreds of millions of dollars” in equity and TPG-lined up debt based on a huge valuation of the agency more than double what’s been previously estimated as its worth. One insider this afternoon put the number at $350 million against a valuation of $1 billion. Yikes!

UPDATE 1 PM: News release below. In it, CAA disclosed that the agency and TPG ”have committed to create a $500 million pledge fund, providing access to significant capital for future investments”.

EXCLUSIVE 11:40 AM: This very lucrative deal for a 35% non-controlling minority interest in CAA with the TPG Capital private equity investment firm follows seven months of tough negotiations with potential financial partners pursued by CAA. It represents a big cash infusion considering that CAA’s revenues were around $300 million in 2007 before the financial crisis struck. But the $105M figure estimated by others is only about half the $200M that CAA was initially seeking. The investment was finally wrapped up last night and an announcement will go out later today. ”It’s a real double down play. CAA saw an opportunity to have a partner that has capital and expertise to develop its company faster and stronger and smarter,” an insider tells me. “That’s why it took so long. CAA wanted to be careful about it.”

lourdhuvane1This liquidity event puts CAA on excellent financial footing after many insider reports of cash flow problems. Most importantly, it allows the tenpercentery’s 2nd generation of owners — one-time Young Turks: Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, Richard Lovett, Doc O’Connor — to monetize their individual pieces of Hollywood’s most powerful agency. But are they going to cash out and leave? My sources deny their exits are imminent and insist that the CAA quartet have all signed “long-term commitments”. Additionally, “part of the proceeds will be distributed to the entire company. Everyone who works in this organization will get money, though some more money than others. It’s exciting to be able to do that,” my insider tell me.

CAA LovettAnother reason for the cash need is that CAA has been self-financing its nearly 5-year-old sports business begun by Lovett, despite the fact it’s a notoriously expensive enterprise because of the size of upfront investments in players that don’t pay off for many years. And the powerhouse sports agents which the agency has assembled have been not-so-quietly complaining about their compensation packages. CAA also plans to use the money for expansion into sports production, video games, and other arenas.

Today’s news follows two big investments made by rival WME Entertainment with experienced partners creating new businesses: a worldwide marketing business, and separately a  global media fund of which $300M of the desired $500M is already raised. These are two very different strategies, but both demonstrate how Hollywood agencies want and need to reinvent themselves. CAA is not the first major tenpercentery to take an investor: Connecticut-based Rizvi Traverse Management’s equity fund operator Suhail Rizvi is a substantial investor in ICM.

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IMAX Inks Largest Theatre Deal In Asia

By | Monday September 20, 2010 @ 5:33pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

New York, NY– September 20, 2010 – IMAX Corporation  today announced that CJ CGV HOLDINGS, LTD, a subsidiary of CJ CGV Co. Ltd., the leading theatre exhibitor in Korea, and the number one exhibitor in Asia, has signed an agreement to install 15 digital IMAX theatre systems in new locations planned for The People’s Republic of China. The deal marks IMAX’s single largest theatre deal in Asia and expands its existing relationship with CJ CGV, which already

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TORONTO: Lionsgate And Roadside Join To Buy Will Ferrell Pic ‘Everything Must Go’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In their second major deal of the Toronto International Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have teamed to acquire Everything Must Go, the Dan Rush-directed drama that stars Will Ferrell. I’m told the deal was north of a $3 million minimum guarantee. I’ve heard that dealmakers at ICM and CAA had about 5 offers, but finally closed with Lionsgate and Roadside. This is the latest in a spectacular flurry of 11th hour acquisition deals at Toronto heading into the fest’s final weekend. Read More »

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TORONTO: Oscilloscope For ‘Meek’s Cutoff’

Mike Fleming

I’ve been so busy breaking Toronto deals that I didn’t note right away an Oscilloscope press release: it has acquired North American distribution rights to Kelly Reichardt’s Western drama Meek’s Cutoff. Adam Yauch previously distributed Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy in 2008. Pic premiered during Toronto and will be released next … Read More »

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BIG DEAL: WME Forms 1/3 Of New Global Marketing Services Spinoff Company

By | Friday September 17, 2010 @ 5:21pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: There’s no announcement of this yet. And details are still very sketchy. But I’ve just learned that WME Entertainment’s Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell  have negotiated a deal to join with heavy-hitters Trivergance Founder/Chairman Marc Byron (formerly CEO … Read More »

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Zodiak Could Wreck Warner/Shed Deal

Paris-based Zodiak has bought an 8% stake in UK independent TV producer Shed Media. Another 2% more and Zodiak could stymie Time Warner, which is trying to buy Shed. Cyrte Investments, the investment company of Endemol-founder John De Mol, sold … Read More »

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And In Other Hollywood Film Deals…

Mike Fleming

A roundup of what else happened today on the deal front: HBO and Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are determined to show the versatility of Paul Giamatti. He played American patriot John Adams in the miniseries that won 13 Emmys for Playtone and HBO. Now, they’ve got him playing Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev in K Blows Top, an adaption of the Peter Carlson book that is being scripted as a telepic by Paul Bernbaum. Project was brought Read More »

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‘Narnia’ Director Sets Bedrock Studios Deal

By | Tuesday June 15, 2010 @ 11:21am PDT
Mike Fleming

Bedrock Studios partners Cary Granat and Ed Jones have made their first overall talent deal. They’ve signed Andrew Adamson and Aron Warner to a multi-year development deal to make films under their newly formed Strange Weather Films banner. Adamson worked with Granat when he directed for Walden Media  and Disney … Read More »

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Sam Raimi Hired To Direct ‘Oz’ (& Downey?)

By | Tuesday June 15, 2010 @ 4:10am PDT

raimi wizard downey

UPDATE: Let me confirm that Sam Raimi is set to direct Disney’s extravagant ‘Wizard of Oz’ 3D prequel. I understand that talks to hire Raimi for Oz: The Great And Powerful turned into a deal … Read More »

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CAA Negotiating $200M Investment From KKR: Partners Want To Cash Out Of Agency

By | Monday June 14, 2010 @ 10:47am PDT

BREAKING NEWS… 2ND UPDATE: Is this the beginning of the end of another Hollywood agency era? My sources tell me that, after months and months of negotiations with potential financial partners pursued by CAA, the agency has focused on KKR – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, the NYC-based private equity firm. The … Read More »

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SHOCKER! Peter Schlessel Leaving Sony

By | Thursday June 10, 2010 @ 3:09pm PDT
Mike Fleming

schlessel_peterEXCLUSIVE: In a surprise move, Peter Schlessel will leave his post as Sony Pictures president of worldwide affairs to become president of GK Films, Graham King’s company. I’m told the move will take place over the next few weeks…. Read More »

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Fairy Tales Are Hot! Relativity Media Acquires New Version of ‘Snow White’

By | Thursday June 3, 2010 @ 4:46pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The billion dollar worldwide gross of Alice in Wonderland has turned public domain fairy tales into the hottest segment of an otherwise sluggish script marketplace. In the latest deal, Relativity Media has made a preemptive acquisition of The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, an edgy 3D re-imagining of the German  … Read More »

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‘A Lot Of Activity’ On The Upfront Market

By | Wednesday June 2, 2010 @ 7:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Upfront dealmaking continued to pick up speed today, with market leader, top-rated network Fox, setting up the pace. Fox continued to land major ad commitments both for its sports portfolio, which includes the Super Bowl, and its entertainment programming, at CPM increases in the high single digits (said to be … Read More »

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Zodiak Acquires RDF To Create Indie Giant

By | Wednesday June 2, 2010 @ 12:51am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

zodiakUPDATED: Paris-based Zodiak Entertainment has closed a deal to acquire U.K.’s RDF Media Group, creating the third largest independent TV production company in the world, rdfbehind Endemol and the RTL-owned FremantleMedia, with … Read More »

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Fox Kicks Off Upfront Market Dealmaking

By | Tuesday June 1, 2010 @ 3:27pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

As expected, the upfront market started moving after the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Top-rated network Fox led the pack with the first deals today at CPMs increases in the high-single digit range. CBS, the most watched network, has started active negotiations as has CW, with the rest of the broadcast … Read More »

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