Vine Acquires Majority Shareholding in VREG; Company to Increase Slate, IP Development, Partnerships and Platforms
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (VREG) is expanding and complementing the Company’s business model as a leading co-financier and co-producer of filmed entertainment into selectively developing and acquiring its own IP and producing content across a breadth of platforms with both existing and new partners. The new strategic plan is fueled by a transaction whereby Vine Alternative Investments (Vine) and Falcon Investment Advisors (Falcon) have acquired a controlling interest in the company with the continued commitment and involvement of Australia’s Village Roadshow Limited (VRL) which has over 60 years participation in global media and entertainment, and remains a significant and strategic shareholder.
The deal was announced today by Jim Moore, CEO of Vine, and Graham Burke, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Village Roadshow Limited, VREG’s founding Australian parent. Mr. Moore has assumed the role of Chairman of VREG while Mr. Burke continues in his role as Chairman of Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP).
The VREG executive team stays in place with Greg Basser continuing as CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group and Bruce Berman as Chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment
At the center of the expanded VREG vision is an initiative to pursue select aligned partnerships with content companies and leading Hollywood producers and filmmakers. These new partnerships will expand the Company’s library of intellectual property, the basis for a new pipeline of film, television, and other entertainment content. These new partnerships will supplement VREG’s established business as a leading co-producer and co-financier with the major studios, highlighted by its enduring and successful partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures Asia. VREG’s China initiative established in 2011, remains an integral part of the growth strategy.
Vine initially became an investor in 2015 and has since partnered with VREG on a number of key strategic initiatives.
“We are beyond excited to be able to partner with VREG,” said Moore. “To acquire a platform such as this, with its rich history, talented executives and incredible library of iconic films is a once in a generation opportunity. Together with our partners VRL and Falcon, we see a unique opportunity to leverage VREG into a broad based, global media company that will foster and support independent creativity and occupy a unique position in the media and entertainment world.”
Burke stated: “It is with enormous good energy that I welcome Vine as the major partner in Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. They are great people and I have no doubt that together we can take the company to new heights. The fundamental is the world has an insatiable appetite for entertainment and VREG will be well positioned to meet that.”
VREG continues its decades long relationship with banking partners J.P. Morgan Chase and Rabobank International to fund and participate in films under its 20-year co-financing deal with Warner Bros. and other studio partners on a case by case basis.
Basser stated: “Vine and Falcon have been extraordinary partners. Their capital propels VREG forward, deepening our ability and commitment to co-financing, developing new IP in service to our partners and expanding our business across additional platforms. This transaction became a reality by combining the ongoing loyalty and commitment of our partners at Warner Bros. with the vision and resources of our new partners. We look forward to becoming an even more active player in the creative and international communities as well as identifying new platforms to enrich those relationships.”
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group enjoys a reputation as one of the industry’s leading co-financing and co-producing companies with an extensive library of almost 100 titles which includes global franchises under its partnership with Warner Bros. such as the MATRIX, SHERLOCK HOLMES and OCEAN’S franchises to Academy Award recognized films including Mad Max: Fury Road”, “American Sniper” and “Happy Feet”.
Said Bruce Berman: “The next phase of Village Roadshow Pictures will build on our 20 year trajectory of delivering global franchises, blockbuster films and ground breaking content alongside our partners to taking a larger creative stake in the development of content and great storytelling. Village Roadshow Pictures is committed to that very creative prioritization, and we look forward to finding great worlds, characters and stories that engage audiences on a global basis.”
Upcoming Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures films include “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”, “The House”, “the Lego Ninjago Movie”, “Ready Player One” and “.
The Raine Group serves as corporate and strategic advisor to VREG.
About Village Roadshow Entertainment Group
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group is a leading global entertainment company building premier, content-rich businesses in the entertainment industry. VREG employs innovative strategies to produce, acquire and deliver intellectual properties with timeless appeal, while maximizing group-wide strategic and operational efficiencies. VREG is the holding company of Village Roadshow Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures Asia.
About Vine Alternative Investments
Vine Alternative Investments was founded in late 2006 as a specialized asset manager that focuses on unique, non-correlated investment opportunities in the media and entertainment sector. Since its founding, the Firm has closed 20+ transactions, investing more than $880 million of capital in the media and entertainment sector. Other notable film industry investments have included Alcon, Virtual Studios, Legendary Pictures, EuropaCorp, Gaylord and Rysher. www.vinealternativeinvestments.com
About Falcon Investment Advisors
Falcon is a private equity firm that invests subordinated debt and equity capital in leading middle-market companies. With more than $2.6 billion of capital under management and an experienced investment team, Falcon is a responsive and resourceful financing partner. Falcon provides $25–$75 million of capital per transaction and is investing through its current fund, Falcon Strategic Partners V, LP.