'Twilight' studio Summit Entertainment closes $750-million recapitalization
Summit Entertainment has closed on a $750-million recapitalization that includes up to $200 million in dividends to its investors.
The independent studio behind the blockbuster "Twilight" movie series had previously been seeking to raise $800 million of new debt, as reported by The Times in January. The final figure includes a $550-million five-and-a-half-year loan, slightly less than the $600 million originally anticipated, and a $200-million five-year credit facility.
Summit will use the funds to pay down debt, finance ongoing operations, future production and distribution of its movies and potential acquisitions. In addition, Summit's largest shareholders will benefit from the company's first large dividend, outside annual distributions made for tax purposes. Those investors include Participant Media, the film financing and production company founded by former EBay President Jeff Skoll, and private equity fund Rizvi Traverse Management, which owns a substantial stake in talent agency International Creative Management.
In securing the new funds, Summit was able to recapitalize on more favorable terms than when it launched as a full-fledged studio in 2007 after initially raising $1 billion in debt and equity.
-- Ben Fritz