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Crayhill backs creation of specialty financing company

The new company will help provide financing for independent media producers.  

Crayhill Capital Management (Crayhill) announced Wednesday (25 May) that it had provided a $100 million financing facility to establish Versa Media Capital (Versa), a specialty financing company that will provide production loan financing to creators of new film and television content. Qualia Legacy Advisors acted as a financial advisor to Versa on the transaction.

A representative for Versa and Crayhill declined to provide further details on the financing facility.

Versa will provide the types of mezzanine, gap and tax credit loans that are traditionally used to finance content production. The firm plans to specialise in bridge financing for pre-production and early production costs incurred while awaiting the close of a permanent production loan.

According to its website, the firm's mezzanine loans will be secured by the value of pre-sold distribution rights, its gap loans will be offered against the value of unsold worldwide distribution rights and its tax credit loans will be offered against film production subsidies from state, local or federal governments.

Based in Century City, California, the firm plans to provide financing for between 15 projects and 20 projects per year and start sourcing deals immediately.

“We see this as an exciting opportunity to extend Crayhill's asset-backed media investments in a rapidly expanding market not met by traditional lenders,” said Crayhill managing partner Joshua Eaton in a statement. “The accelerating growth in digital and other non-traditional distribution channels coupled with increasing demand from non-US markets is driving demand for new film content and creating attractive collateralised lending opportunities,” he added.

Versa's co-founders are Jeff Geoffray, entertainment lawyer Jeffrey Konvitz and Daniel Rainey, a private equity investor and attorney. Geoffray co-founded and ran Blue Rider Entertainment, an entertainment production and financing company that that has provided support for 118 television and movie projects since its founding in 1991. In addition, Irene Romero will serve as banking advisor at Versa, having formerly managed the entertainment division of Wells Fargo and been involved with the financing of more than 200 films, including Babel , Iron Man and Twilight .

Crayhill is a New York based alternative asset manager specialised in illiquid credit and asset-based opportunities. The firm was founded in August of last year and has approximately $860 million of assets under management.