Billionaire Burkle Acquires Equity Stake in Relativity Media

Billionaire Ron Burkle acquired an equity stake in Relativity Media LLC, the independent film and television studio led by Ryan Kavanaugh, his second investment in the entertainment industry this month.

The purchase follows an investment in the company’s debt that Burkle made last year, according to an e-mailed statement today from Relativity and Yucaipa Cos. The price of the equity stake and the name of the seller weren’t disclosed.

Burkle agreed to buy Elliott Management Corp.’s minority stake in the studio, two people with knowledge of the situation said on Jan. 6. Elliott, a New York-based hedge fund, will continue to hold a small investment in Relativity, one of the people said at the time.

The purchase marks Burkle’s second entertainment acquisition this month. On Jan. 5, Y Entertainment Corp., a unit of Yucaipa, bought Artist Group International, the New York-based company that books concerts for Billy Joel, Rod Stewart and Metallica.

Relativity has produced or co-produced films including “The Fighter,” winner of last year’s Academy Awards for best supporting actor and actress. The studio’s “Mirror, Mirror,” a retelling of the Snow White legend, will be released in March, according to the Internet Movie Database.

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