With the nation on the brink of economic collapse, Wall Street panic at an all time high, and hedge funds and financial institutions disintegrating, New York based Elliott Associates has parked an additional $1 billion into Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media which will finance a large slate of Universal Pictures’ films over the next few years.
And the question remains “why?” in today’s economic crisis as well as the recent pull out of billions of dollars in institutional capital from the studios.
No matter how bad things are in the world, people need to be entertained. And while the crowd mentality of panic in the U.S. financial markets exists, overseas, properly structured commercial films generate more revenues which add to bigger distributor buys with the Euro vs. USD.
Apart from Elliott Associates streaming film, other investors including billionaires,family offices from Wall Street to Silicon Valley to the Middle East to Russia have been parking their money into Hollywood
Larry Ellison Of Oracle, Paul Allen Of Microsoft, Steven Rales, Fred Smith of Federal Express, Norman Waitt, the Co-Founder of Gateway Computers, Jeff Skoll Of Ebay, Marc Turtletaub of The Money Store, Roger Marino Of EMC Corp, Sidney Kimmel Of Jones Apparel Group, Minnesota Twins owner Bill Pohlad; Real Estate Developers Tom Rosenberg and Bob Yari, and, financiers Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim, Michel Litvak, and Philip Anschutz are all behind the finance of a lot of films that range from box office hits to Academy Award winners.
While the glamour of the movie business may be appealing to most, at the end of the day, it is still an unknown business that many try to gamble on, and only a handful come out as winners. The real key is to minimize risk, maximize profits, and offer a steadier stream of revenues than what other alternative investments may offer such as real estate, oil & gas, commodities, hedge funds, or practically any other investment in today’s market.
Instead of dazzling investors with smoke and mirror Monte Carlo simulation models that offer various IRR’s and scenarios based on unpredictable film revenues streams,the key is to offer an absolute return on investment utilizing international and U.S. public tax incentives that in certain instances can guarantee 100% or more of invested capital prior to revenues by leveraging equity positions with non-recourse debt.
Investors who either want to take a 100% Federal deduction under Section 181 or “The American Jobs Creations Act” against their ordinary income, get an additional 20-40% in tradable and monetized state tax credits or cash rebates, have a hedge of revenues from a slate of films, as well as stimulating local and international economic development, and creating jobs, including for women and minorities.
Sound too good to be true?
Not too many other alternative investments can offer tax incentives, multiple exit strategies, the potential to guarantee 100% of capital, giving back to the American economy and labor, while being involved with the moviemaking process that would also add to the long line of recent film funds that have been structured with numerous hedge funds, private equity investors, corporate tax credit buyers, and institutions.
In today’s shaky financial markets, not too many businesses can be started that can have an almost predictable ROI prior to operations and profits.