Soho post house primed for asset finance
Asset finance was a vital component when Prime Focus London needed to build a bespoke facility for Red Bee Media in double quick time.
In the rapidly changing world of post-production – as business models evolve and technology adapts – the need for new editing, audio and graphics suites comes thick and fast.
And, when a company needs to move swiftly, asset finance is a great option. Unlike other forms of finance, lease hire funds can be made available quickly and (relatively) easily, allowing forward thinking companies to take advantage of time-sensitive business opportunities. This was exactly the case for the broadcast division at one of the UK’s biggest post producers, Prime Focus London (PFL).
Having won a significant contract to build a facility within a facility for Red Bee Media in West London, it had to move rapidly. The requirement was for an in-house tapeless operation capable of handling the creation of promos and dynamic junctions for BBC and UKTV, amongst other clients.
In all, seven Avid editing suites, two Smoke visual effects suites, one hybrid Smoke/Flame suite, two Avid Pro-Tools audio studios and a dedicated Avid support station were required. And the whole thing had to be bought, delivered, installed and operational inside two months.
Asset finance played a significant role in making this happen with Medialease, one of two brokers involved, providing more than half of the cash. Medialease managing director Paul Robson says the deal was a fairly complex one because of where the equipment was to be housed.
“On getting the original call I quickly realised something that their other lease broker probably hadn’t truly grasped,” he explains. “PFL wanted a significant amount of high end technology that would be operated by PFL staff and leased to PFL but housed in Red Bee’s premises in west London not in their own facility in Soho. This meant that the underlying contract with Red Bee would play a significant part in underwriting this deal. And it did. As a result we were able to arrange good terms on all the video equipment within a fortnight and the papers were signed in advance of installation.”
Rowan Bray, PFL’s managing director of UK broadcast and independent film, was quick to highlight the benefit of using asset finance on a deal such as this. “It’s fairly logical for a post-production company to take advantage of asset finance,” she says. “It makes sense on both a cashflow basis and in terms of tax efficiencies.”
Bray was also full of praise for Robson, someone she had worked with in the past. “He knows all about the funders, understands the TV business and the kit and he is a specialist without being arrogant or charging extra for his knowledge,” she says. “This makes him the ‘go to’ person when it comes to this type of deal. He is also very easy to work with.”
The Red Bee Media deal was the first of two recent PFL broadcast projects for Medialease. The second saw a sizeable chunk of asset finance provided for an upgrade of the firm’s audio suites.
“Following on from these two projects we are now very much looking forward to helping PFL with their ongoing technology upgrade and expansion plans in 2013 and beyond,” concludes Robson.
To find out more about how asset finance can help with post production suite finance or your next post production project contact Medialease now.
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