‘Catalyst $320m deal rescues Relativity’

Ryan-Kavanaugh-Relativity[1]Toronto’s Catalyst Capital Group has reportedly come to the rescue of trouble Hollywood studio Relativity Media by investing a total of around US$320 million.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Catalyst has acquired all of Relativity’s senior secure debt for around US$150 million and will invest US$170 million of equity in exchange for an undisclosed share in the business.

This allows founder Ryan Kavanaugh (pictured) to remain as CEO and chairman, with Catalyst gaining a seat on the Relativity board. Kavanaugh’s position was thought to be under threat if he had not been able to make a US$120 million debt payment.

Relativity launched in 2004 as a film production packager, but later expanded into television production through shows such as MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show, ABC Family’s Young & Hungry and WEtv’s Sex Box.

Catalyst is an investor in Canadian media giant Canwest, but is best known in TV circles for taking control of RHI Entertainment after it went bankrupt and relaunching the prodco as Sonar Entertainment.

It claims to currently have capital commitments to the tune of US$2.8 billion, and has built a reputation on turning around struggling companies.

Neither Relativity nor Catalyst could be contacted for comment before press time.