Solar Entertainment Group is announcing the launch of Solar Media Capital, a full-service specialty financing entity, the company told TheWrap.
Former Comerica Entertainment Group executive Andrew Robinson has been hired to manage the new operation. The announcement coincides with the American Film Market annual finance conference taking place this week in Santa Monica.
Solar Media Capital will participate in all levels of filmed entertainment financing, providing lending alternatives not always covered by banks or credit investors.
This will include single picture financing (gap, super gap, tax credits, foreign rights sales), bridge lending, library loans, P&A funding, film ultimate lending, as well as distressed and/or special situations lending.
Solar Media Capital is a subsidiary of Solar Entertainment Group, which is backed by a number of financial investors, including Edward Lawson Johnston, founder of the London-based merchant bank LJ Group; the New York-based Shu family, which has major holdings in real estate and energy in the U.S., Romania and China; and Bobby Paunescu, the majority owner of one of the top ten private industrial conglomerates in Central and Eastern Europe.
“Solar Media Capital is an integral component of what we are building at Solar Entertainment Group. Now we can not only provide filmmakers with production services at our facilities in Romania, but also provide them with all their capital needs,” said Underwood.
Solar Media Capital principals Underwood (pictured) and Paunescu are also the principal investors in Solar Pictures, an independent film production and finance company (and subsidiary of Solar Entertainment Group). It is headed by co-CEOs Kearie Peak and Chris Taylor and produces four to five movies a year with budgets up to $40 million.
The AFM financing conference — which draws some of the leading figures in the industry — covers a number of topics this year, including current issues in film financing, the politics of film financing and building a global financing strategy.