RELATIVITY MEDIA: A BRIEF HISTORY
Lynwood Spinks and Ryan Kavanaugh founded the American media company in 2004. Headquartered in California, United States, it was the third-largest mini-major studio worldwide. That was until its bankruptcy on July 30, 2015.
The humble beginning
The two founders started Relativity Media as a middleman company. It arranged multi-film slate deals with studios and then arranged financial support through banks. The company would receive film equity, producer’s credit, and a fee. Stark Investments is a Wisconsin-based hedge fund that funded the company’s single-picture business. These investors stopped making movie-finance deals by 2007. Elliott Management then took a minority share of the company. It included access to around a billion dollars in capital and a revolving credit line. Elliott Management is a sixteen billion dollars hedge fund based in New York run by Paul Singer.
In January 2009, the studio got its first acquisition. It acquired the genre label Rogue from Universal for a hundred and fifty million dollars. Relativity Media oversaw Rogue’s 2009 film offerings. It consisted of Come Out Fighting, Last House on the Left, The Unborn, and My Soul to Take. Included are more than thirty projects in development. The deal also has an inclusion of the Rogue film library. The library features films such as Assault on Precinct 13 and The Strangers.
Venturing into India
Relativity Media ventured into India in 2010. Asian billionaire Keyur Patel helped the company make this venture possible. The billionaire owns two major TV Networks. He has significant investments in India in satellite, theatre chain, and media productions.
On July 6, 2010, Relativity Media announced with Netflix a five-year-plus Pay-TV deal. The Fighter and Skyline were the first two films to stream on Netflix.
Co-production and co-financing
Relativity Media acquired the 45-person marketing and distribution staff of Starz’ Overture Films. The acquisition on July 23, 2010, made the company a “Mini-Major.” The first film distributed by the studio was The Warrior’s Way. Released on December 3, 2010, it starred Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, and Jang Dong-gun.
EuropaCorp signed a co-production and co-financing deal with Relativity Media on two movies. The agreement indicated that Relativity Media would distribute in the United States. It was on May 20, 2012. Relativity Media also has co-production deals with Atlas Entertainment. The deal included Project.
Billionaire Ron Burkle loaned two hundred million dollars to Relativity Media in November 2011 for the films Immortals and Mirror Mirror. Burkle bought a substantial equity stake in Relativity Media from Elliot Capital Management on January 23, 2012. ECM was the second-largest shareholder after Ryan Kavanaugh. He paid at least eight hundred million dollars for it.
Relativity Media merged its Rogue Sports with Maximum Sports Management in July 2012. There was also a merger between Relativity Sports and SFX Baseball. Relativity Media then announced a new division on December 19. The new division became Relativity International.
Relativity Media acquired Trigger Street Production on January 6, 2016.
The company filed for bankruptcy once again in May 2018. It then arranged to sell all its assets. The US Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of the company to Ultra V Holdings in August 2018.