‘Twilight’ Maker Summit Seeks $800 Million for Films

Summit Entertainment LLC, maker of the “Twilight” vampire movies, is seeking to raise $800 million to repay debt, finance production and pay a dividend to its investors.

The proposed refinancing includes a $600 million, seven-year term loan and a $200 million revolving credit facility, New York-based Moody’s Investors Service said today in a report giving the company a B1, non-investment grade rating.

The company plans to pay a special distribution to investors, according to the report. They include investment banker Rizvi Traverse Management and Participant Media, a Beverly Hills, California-based film production company founded by former EBay Inc. (EBAY) President Jeff Skoll, according to both companies’ websites.

The majority of the equity “remains in the company,” Paul Pflug, a Summit spokesman, said in an interview. The studio, based in Santa Monica, California, sought the refinancing in “the normal course of business,” he said.

Summit is benefiting from “significant” cash flow from the “Twilight” films that reduces risk for investors, Moody’s said. The first three movies in the series generated $1.8 billion in global ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo, an industry researcher. Two more films are planned.

Financing is being arranged by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and UBS AG (UBSN), according to two people with knowledge of the plans.

Summit, formed in 2007 with funding from investors including Merrill Lynch, was in talks last year with creditors of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. on a possible tie-up.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Ronald Grover in Los Angeles at Rgrover58@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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