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Relativity Makes It Official: Ron Burkle Buys Stake in Studio

News of the supermarket magnate’s investment comes as the indie studio announces a settlement with the Weinstein Co.

Relativity officially announced on Monday that Ron Burkle's investment firm Yucaipa Companies purchased a "significant" equity stake in Relativity Media.

News of Yucaipa’s investment leaked out last month, but had yet to be publicly acknowledged.

It's probably not coincidental that Relativity formally announced that Burkle's involvement on the same day it revealed that it had reached an undisclosed settlement with the Weinstein Company over rights to distribute a remake of "The Crow."

Also read: Billionaire Ron Burkle Buys Soho House Chain

Burkle will buy a portion of hedge fund investor Elliott Management's stake in the independent studio. The supermarket magnate's involvement will go a long way to quiet rumors that Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh was facing a capital crunch with Elliott eyeing the exit door.

Burkle played the part of Kavanaugh's savior before. 

As TheWrap first reported in November, Burkle furnished Relativity with a $200 million loan to cover marketing and production costs for its sword and sandals epic "Immortals" and its Snow White re-imagining "Mirror, Mirror." 

The loan to Relativity was obtained from Colbeck Capital Management at an 8.5 percent interest rate.

"We've spent a lot of time analyzing the media industry, and have looked at virtually every asset out there," Burkle said in a statement. "Relativity makes sense. They run their business like a business, focusing on profitability, internal rates of return and the factors that many Hollywood based businesses don't focus on. Their platform and foundation is unparalleled, and I believe together we will be able to grow the business in a manner which continues to evolve the industry and sets new benchmarks." 

Burkle now becomes the second largest shareholder in the company after Kavanaugh. Elliott will be Relativity's third largest stakeholder, according to an individual with knowledge of the deal.