Film producers/financiers Bill Block and Kevin Frakes have teamed with Merced Capital to launch Merced Media, a new development, production and financing vehicle that will seek to produce a $500M+ slate of films over the next 3-5 years, the company announced Wednesday.
Merced Media will focus on filmmaker and star-driven wide release movies. The business plan includes a robust development platform. Merced’s Raj Singh and Stuart Brown oversee Merced’s media investments.
Founded in 1988 as the first spinout from Cargill’s Financial Markets Department, Merced Capital has raised and managed numerous investment vehicles, including seven lock-up funds between 2005 and 2014, and currently manages aggregate committed capital of over $2.5 billion.
Since 2012, Merced Capital has invested in several films including Relativity’s “November Man,” Universal’s “Rush” and “Term Life,” Lionsgate’s “American Ultra,” and the Weinstein Company’s upcoming “Sing Street.”
Block is CEO of production and sales company QED International, financed by Media Content Capital, and producer of such films as Neill Blomkamp‘s “District 9” and “Elysium,” David Ayer‘s “Fury” with Brad Pitt (pictured above) and the upcoming Bill Murray movie “Rock the Kasbah.”QED and Media Content Capital will be involved in projects in partnership with Merced Media.
Frakes is the CEO of PalmStar Media Capital and has been film financing advisor to Merced Capital since 2012. Recent producing credits include the aforementioned “Term Life,” the upcoming Keanu Reeves courtroom drama “The Whole Truth,” the Kristen Stewart-Jesse Eisenberg movie “American Ultra” and Lynn Shelton’s “Laggies” with Keira Knightley.
In addition, Frakes’ recent executive producer credits include Ed Zwick’s chess drama “Pawn Sacrifice,” Lionsgate’s “John Wick” with Reeves and the Pierce Brosnan action movie “November Man.”
Merced is represented by Stephen Saltzman of Loeb & Loeb, Block is represented by Josh Grode at Irell & Manella and Frakes is represented by Jonathan Gardner of Cohen Gardner, LLP.