Time Warner Inc. (TWX:US)’s Warner Bros. studio will receive $450 million in funding from RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC to finance as many as 75 films, including big summer franchises.
The multiyear agreement joins RatPac, the production partnership between filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian casino executive James Packer, with Dune Capital Management LP, the investment firm founded by OneWest Bank Group LLC Chairman Steven Mnuchin. The amount, $450 million over four years, could rise to as much as $1 billion including borrowed money and reinvested profits, Mnuchin said in an interview yesterday.
“I’m a big, long-term believer in the value of content,” Mnuchin said. “The expansion of digital will make this worth more and more.”
The deal will help finance films including a Batman-Superman project starring Ben Affleck that’s scheduled for July 2015. The financing comes two months after Legendary Entertainment LLC, another film investor, left Warner Bros. for Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s Universal Pictures.
“This agreement gives us increased strength and flexibility in the motion picture division and an even greater ability to manage risk as we continue to produce high-quality filmed entertainment for the global audience,” Kevin Tsujihara, chief executive officer of Burbank, California-based Warner Bros., said in an e-mailed statement.
The investment, which include films produced by New York-based Time Warner’s New Line Cinema unit, begins with “Gravity,” out Oct. 4.
Time Warner fell 0.6 percent to $65.81 yesterday in New York. The stock has gained 38 percent this year, compared with an 18 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
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