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INDUSTRY UK

Aegis launches $50m fund

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The ailing UK production sector received a boost with the news of the launch of the Aegis Film Fund that plans to invest $50m strategically in the independent film finance market.

Aegis will provide debt finance on a short to medium term basis to independent film productions. Aegis aims to structure each element of financing in a way likely to reduce risk and protect investment, by way of applying both risk mitigation techniques and taking security over film assets.

The Fund is targeting annual returns of 15%. The Film Adviser for the Fund is Aegis Capital Partners – a partnership between Prescience Film Finance, accountants Chancery and financial executives Colin Brumpton and Chris Smith.

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Tim Smith, Prescience Managing Director and Aegis Director said, “With funds of up to $50 million to commit this year Aegis is focusing on top end independent productions in the $8m-$25m budget range, with an established group of producers. In the current financial climate we are seeking to provide competitive finance that, to a certain extent, is helping to fill the gap left by the European banks. On certain projects, equity can also be made available from other Prescience managed funds.”

The company’s first production is Mat Whitecross’ currently filming biopic of late British punk rocker Ian Dury, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, starring Andy Serkis, Ray Winstone and Olivia Williams. Lip Sync and the UK Film Council are also backing the film. Odyssey Entertainment is handling global sales while Entertainment Film Distributors have pre-bought UK rights.

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