Michael Eisner, Universal Sign Multi-Year Distribution Pact

Eisner's Tornante Company will fully finance feature films

Universal Pictures and Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company have struck a multi-year worldwide distribution deal that will bring the former Disney chief back into the world of feature films.

Under the pact, Universal will market and distribute films that Tornante fully finances. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Eisner said the first film in the deal could be released by the end of 2013. He added that the pictures will hop from genre to genre.

Eisner's return to the movie game has reportedly been in the works for some time. CNBC and Variety reported earlier this year that Tornante was working to raise $800 million to back films.

In an interview with Reuters, Eisner did not specifically say how the money had been raised but said Morgan Stanley, Blackstone Group, JPMorgan Chase and Moelis & Co would be involved in the effort.

Eisner, is best known for his 21-year stint as chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, but he has been investing heavily in new media since leaving the studio as part of a shareholder putsch in 2005.

He also had a successful run at Paramount Pictures during the 1980s, helping to revitalize the studio with hits like "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

In addition to founding the Tornante Company, he also started Vuguru, an independent digital studio that develops content for the likes of AOL and Yahoo!

Through Tornante, Eisner and Madison Dearborn Partners acquired sports cards manufacturer the Topps Company.