Check Out Our New Look

Ultimate Raising $18M Film/TV Fund

EXCLUSIVE: The media fund is raising money for a number of projects including 28K, written by Paul Abbott. Showtime USA is currently remaking Abbott’s Channel 4 series Shameless, while Universal turned his BBC series State of Play into the Russell Crowe movie. The urban thriller starts filming in October. Ultimate aims to establish a string of tax-effective Enterprise Investment Scheme companies. Each EIS will invest up to £2 million ($3 million) in a spread of film, TV, music, internet and theatre start-ups. For example, distributor Route One plans to release six movies and up to 40 DVDs a year. The idea is to spread the investor’s risk, while still giving him a 20% tax break.

If successful, the rolling media fund aims to raise £20 million each year.

Oliver Rothschild, founder of Buchler Rothschild Investments, is the chairman. Vice-chairman is Martin Carr, an independent feature producer who has worked with Danny Boyle in the past. Other board members include veteran director Piers Haggard, whose credits include the Beeb’s Pennies From Heaven.

This is not the first time Carr has gone down the EIS route. He used the EIS to fund gangland drama Clubbed. The film was released theatrically in the UK and France in 2009 and sold to 20 other territories on DVD. Unusually for a privately-financed EIS film, Clubbed also sold to BSkyB. But investors still not out yet. Sales agent AV Pictures has just closed a US sale. Carr and his partner Neil Thompson have pledged half their net profits from … Read More »

Comments (9)

Colony Capital Plans $500M Media Fund

By | Thursday July 1, 2010 @ 10:09am PDT

I’ve confirmed that Tom Barrack, president of California-based Colony Capital, is putting together a $500M media fund with of all people TV star Rob Lowe and a couple of other investors. Barrack, whose real estate investment firm co-owns Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch and stepped in to bail out photographer Annie Leibovitz after she couldn’t meet interest payments on a $24 million loan and faced losing her home, invests in entertainment businesses with a bricks-and-mortar component such as casinos or cinema chains (the Mars in Turkey). Colony Capital currently has $30 billion of assets under management.

Barrack and Lowe have been discussing their unnamed fund for some years but so far have bought nothing except for a new round of media attention during a recent London visit. “Barrack brought Rob the idea that there are a lot of media properties that need financing,” one insider tells me. They were spotted entering the fashionable C restaurant – Madonna’s favourite – to meet its owner Flavio Briatore, the Italian entrepreneur whose yacht was seized last month by Italian police for tax evasion. Lowe and Barrack were later seen at a party given by tennis star Boris Becker.

Comments (4)