Media Super invests $20m in cashflow fund
By Brendan Swift
The $2.5 billion Media Super has backed Fulcrum Media Finance's revolving loan fund with a $20 million investment.
The new funding will almost double the size of Fulcrum's facility, which is used to cashflow the Producer Offset for film and television production, to about $50 million.
Media Super, which predominately caters to members in the print, media, entertainment and arts professions, has been keen to back the Producer Offset for at least 18 months although the onset of the global financial crisis stalled its initial plans.
The fund's chairman Gerard Noonan said the investment will help the screen industries as well as provide a sound return for Media Super's members.
“This is a non-equity deal, backed by the Government through the Producer Offset, tailor made for Fulcrum, specifically for the film and television industry," he said in a statement.
"Notably, it is not linked to, or reliant upon, the financial success of a film. It is simply a debt facility principally secured by the payment of the Producer Offset tax rebate."
The Offset provides a 40 per cent rebate on qualifying feature film production expenditure and 20 per cent for TV and documentaries. However, major lenders have been wary of funding the Offset since it was introduced three years ago as credit markets have remained tight.
However an increasing number of lenders are slowly entering the market including, most recently, Australia's credit export agency.
Fulcrum was established two years ago by See-Saw Films' producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, as well Barry Sechos and Sharon Menzies, and has since funded about 20 productions including feature films Animal Kingdom and The Tree.
Fulcrum also provides other financing services including limited gap finance, discounting of distribution guarantees and bridging finance and is currently entering the UK market, where it will provide a similar cashflow service around the UK tax credit.
Iain Canning (left) and Emile Sherman