The iconic Hammer Films brand is the subject of a new Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) that has been launched by Motion Picture Capital.
The new offering, which will sit alongside Motion Picture Capital's existing range of EIS and Seed EIS schemes, gives investors the opportunity to invest in production companies focused on producing, owning and commercialising film and TV productions.
Motion Picture Capital was founded by Leon Clarance, a chartered accountant who also earned an MBA from the Film Business Academy at Cass Business School. He said the difference between the Motion Picture Capital EIS and SEIS offers compared with other film investment schemes is his company is an independent production house that has the ability to green-light productions.
"With no disrespect to the smaller players, we are offering investors the opportunity to get involved with productions with a global appeal," he said.
Alongside its storied history, Hammer Films recently had a big hit in 2012 with The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe. It became the highest-grossing British horror film on record, taking £21.3m at the British box office and more than $130m (£104m) worldwide. "With Hammer there is a huge awareness of the brand and that can translate into better box office performances," Clarance added.
The production companies in which the Hammer Films EIS Fund will look to invest will pursue a strategy of owning, producing and exploiting content that is underpinned by the Hammer ethos, creative and commercial principles and brand recognition, said Clarance.
"In order for this to work, you have to have a route to market," he continued. "Previous schemes have funded films that, frankly, shouldn't have been made. But Hammer is a route to market that comes with distribution relationships. That is always half of the battle. It sidesteps some of the failings."
Clarance admitted that finding hits was akin to "bottling lightning" but should any of the films or long-form television series - such as Sense 8, which has been produced by Motion Picture Capital and is currently on Netflix - do well there was the opportunity to see "outsized returns".
As with all EISs, however, Clarance stressed investors need to be aware of the risks. "We work with advisers who are willing and able to find investors who are aware of the risks," he added. "We spend a lot of time talking to investors about managing the downside risk."
The EIS will invest in companies that have received advanced assurance from HMRC. The minimum investment in the fund will be £10,000, and the offering is likely to close in early April 2017.
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