Raven Capital Closes $87.5 Million Open Road Purchase

Patrick Frater

Private equity firm, Raven Capital Management has completed the $87.5 million purchase of North American film distributor Open Road Films that it announced in November last year.

Open Road was acquired from AMC and Regal Entertainment by Donald Tang’s Tang Media Partners in August 2017 and was then combined with IM Global to form Global Road. But after little more than a year under Tang’s management, Open Road declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2018.

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Raven’s purchase includes rights to 45 released film titles, related contracts, and other assets. Raven has given no indication that Open Road will continue to operate as a distributor. Library titles include “Spotlight,” “Bleed for This,” “Chef,” “Dope,” “End of Watch,” “The Grey,” “Homefront,” “Killer Elite,” “Marshall,” “Nightcrawler,” “The Nut Job,” “Side Effects,” “Snowden” and “Triple 9.”

“We look forward to including the Open Road library in our larger portfolio of films and will continue to pursue opportunities to expand the size and scope of our platform,” said James Masciello, principal and portfolio manager of Raven, in a prepared statement.

The company’s previous corporate acquisitions include the 2015 purchase of the Exclusive Media Group, jointly with AMBI Media Group, and purchase of a majority stake in David Ian Productions, a leading producer, promoter and tour operator of high-profile licensed stage musicals. The Exclusive Media deal included rights to more than 400 film titles, running from “Begin Again,” “Cruel Intentions,” “Donnie Darko,” “Memento,” and “The Mexican,” to “Rush,” “The Skulls,” and “Sliding Doors.”

Raven also finances independent films, notably providing finance for Sculptor Media. Masciello is among the credited producers of Sculptor thriller “The Importance of Blood.”

As a distributor, Open Road suffered a series of box office flops, including “Hotel Artemis” and “A.X.L.” After unsuccessfully attempting to raise additional funds, Open Road was sued for breaching its agreement to distribute Johnny Depp’s film, “City of Lies.” In September, Global Road filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware bankruptcy court, citing between $100 million and $500 million in liabilities. Its largest creditors included Viacom, NBCUniversal, TBS, Disney, and Bank Leumi.

Raven was represented in the transaction by the media and entertainment finance team led by Robert Sherman at DLA Piper, the bankruptcy team led by Nathan Haynes at Greenberg Traurig, and the entertainment tax team led by James Null at Eversheds Sutherland.

Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor were legal advisors to Open Road Films. FTI Consulting was financial advisor to Open Road Films.

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