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Versa Media Capital, Crayhill Capital Close $100MM Financing Facility

May 26, 2016, 07:55 AM
Filed Under: Lender Finance

Versa Media Capital, LLC, a specialty finance company that provides production loan financing to creators of new film and television content, has secured a $100 million financing facility from Crayhill Capital Management LP, an alternative asset management firm based in New York.

In addition to traditional subordinated production loans (e.g., mezzanine, gap and tax credit loans), Versa will be the first institutional lender in the industry that specializes in bridge financing.  Bridge financing can provide timely capital for critical production costs prior to the senior bank or full production financial closing, including down-payments for talent, pre-production costs and other early production expenses.

The firm was founded by industry veteran Jeff Geoffray and entertainment attorney Jeffrey Konvitz, along with Daniel Rainey, a private equity investor and attorney. Previously, Geoffray co-founded and ran Blue Rider Finance, a successful film financing company that set the standard for bridge loans in the industry. Blue Rider underwrote and financed over 70 bridge and bridge-related financing transactions on films with over $700 million in total production costs. The Versa team has a long and successful track record in production, structured finance, international treaty co-productions, and international distribution, having funded and arranged over 100 loans and other financings in the past two decades for productions with budget sizes from $2 million to over $40 million. 

Versa will be a vital source of institutional capital for producers who are working to meet the rapidly growing demand for new independent film and television content being driven by both traditional and non-traditional distribution channels such as over-the-top streaming and other video on demand applications.  In addition to providing timely capital solutions, Versa pro-actively works to structure and close the production financing, often acting as a true executive producer to assist content creators in completing their films.  The team expects to finance approximately 15 to 20 projects per year.

"Versa Media Capital intends to become the go-to source of capital and expertise for independent film and TV content creators, and will provide the elements needed to put projects on the solid footing required to complete a permanent financing package," said Geoffray. "In addition to capital, our support will include financial, legal and production expertise.  We will collaborate with all the stakeholders – and their legal and financing partners – to bridge funding needs until a permanent financing solution is available."

"We see this as an exciting opportunity to extend Crayhill's asset-based media investments in a rapidly expanding market not met by traditional lenders," said Josh Eaton of Crayhill Capital Management. "The accelerating growth in digital and other non-traditional distribution channels coupled with increasing demand from non-U.S. markets is driving demand for new film content and creating attractive collateralized lending opportunities."

Qualia Legacy Advisors served as Versa's financial advisor on the transaction.

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