Village Roadshow Entertainment Group has closed a $380 million recapitalization that includes a $275 million infusion of new capital, the company announced Thursday.
The funding is part of a 6-year equity arrangement with Trinity Opportunities Limited, arranged in conjunction with Hong Kong-based Shikumen Capital Management.
The funds will be used to boost the Australia-based company's initiatives in China and bolster its balance sheet.
“This recapitalization will … facilitate the strategic growth of our film production business both in the U.S. and China,” said Greg Basser, Village Roadshow's chief executive officer in a statement (photo, left).
Village Roadshow Pictures Asia has launched with an initial slate of three projects, with plans to ramp up to five to eight titles per year.
The first release for VRPA, scheduled for February 2013, is “Journey to the West” helmed by Stephen Chow. The film is currently in post-production and is being co-produced with Stephen Chow’s Bingo Movie Development and Bill Kong’s Edko Films.
“Man of Tai Chi,” Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut, is also slated for release during 2013. Reeves also co-stars in the film, which is currently in production in Beijing and Hong Kong. Universal and VRPA are co-financing and will co-distribute together with China Film Group and Wanda Media.
“My Lucky Star,” produced by and starring Chinese superstar Zhang Ziyi, is a prequel to the Zhang hit “Sophie’s Revenge.” The project is currently in pre-production and expected to commence principal photography later this year.
“This transaction could not have been possible without the ongoing loyalty and commitment of our partners at Warner Bros,” said Graham Burke, chairman and chief executive officer at VREG.
Village Roadshow's has two films opening in the U.S. later this year. “Gangster Squad,” starring Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Sean Penn (Sept. 7) and “The Great Gatsby,” directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire (Christmas Day).
"We're delighted to continue our longstanding mutually beneficial relationship," said Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO at Warner Bros.