Donald Tang’s Global Road Files for Bankruptcy After Just 1 Year in Business

Film studio was seized by creditors weeks ago

Last Updated: September 6, 2018 @ 6:37 AM

Global Road Entertainment has hit a dead end. The fledgling movie studio filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday just weeks after it was seized by creditors.

It’s been a rather rapid decline for the cash-strapped studio, which reported liabilities between $100 million and $500 million in a filing in Delaware bankruptcy court.

“Today’s filing for bankruptcy protection for Open Road Films solely encompasses domestic related film operations and does not include Tang Media Partners, Tang Media Entertainment, IM Global Television (both scripted and non-scripted) and IM Global. IM Global Television and IM Global were re-branded earlier this year as part of Global Road Entertainment. Those entities will continue to operate as ongoing concerns working with existing and future partners,” the company said in a statement.

Donald Tang, a former Bear Stearns executive in China, cobbled the company together a year ago after acquiring Oscar-winning “Spotlight” distributor Open Road in August 2017 for $29 million and combining it with IM Global, a sales and production company that his firm had bought in 2016.

The studio, rebranded as Global Road in October, said it had between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors and named Amir Agam as chief restructuring officer.

Tang had hoped to release roughly 15 films a year while bridging the divide between China and the U.S.

At an informal event at last February’s Berlin International Film Festival, studio head Rob Friedman told investors and industry types that the company anticipated spending $1 billion on production over the next three years.

But Global Road found itself in financial disarray after failing to secure a much-needed cash injection of $200 million.

In late August, the studio laid off roughly 50 employees as its lead creditors Bank of America and Dominic Ng’s East West Bank began shopping around some of the studio’s unreleased films. The plan was to try to prevent bankruptcy.

Global Road’s unreleased films include “The Silence,” a horror film led by “Mad Men” star Kiernan Shipka, the live action-animation hybrid “Playmobil” and the recently shelved Johnny Depp true-life detective story “City of Lies.”

An insider at one indie studio said in late August that it wasn’t shopping for any of Global Road’s unreleased films, but was looking into other assets, including Global Road’s library of content.

Insiders at Global Road have said that the company’s TV and international sales divisions were stable and have been operating independently of the film studio.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.