Due to increased film and TV activity and demand for loans, BCP Asset Management is looking to complete a second round of fundraising for its film finance scheme.
The scheme, in partnership with Grant Thornton, was set up in January 2015 with the aim of providing short-term finance to small and medium-sized blue chip film and television projects.
It has lent to over 30 projects so far. Within the next six weeks, the original €2.5 million in the fund will be completely depleted, according to John Gleeson, head of media at Grant Thornton.
Now it is looking to raise at least a further €1 million. It is open to a wide array of investors including personal, pension, corporates and charities. The target gross return is 7 per cent per annum, after fees.
The minimum investment amount is €20,000 with a closing date of October 15. The targeted maturity date of the scheme is April 30, 2018.
The loan projects in the scheme are recommended by Grant Thornton, the largest providers of financial services to the media sector in Ireland, and approved by BCP.
“Cashflowing funds in the film and TV production industry is a normal part of day-to-day business. There are a number of sophisticated mechanisms for cash flow that operate in Britain but nobody in Ireland was providing this service to film and television production that is taking place here until we did,” Gleeson said.
Previously, the Section 481 system gave tax relief to individuals on their investments so the money was usually made available to the film and TV projects as production started.
A new system which provides a tax credit of 32 per cent was introduced in January 2015. Under the revised rules, the tax breaks are now aimed at production companies, rather than individual investors.
This means it can take longer for money to reach production as it needs to meet certain criteria before being released.
As a result of this, there is a huge demand for the film finance scheme as it provides short-term finance. It is “out the door” with business at the moment, according to Gleeson.