During MIP Cancun’s last day, the session "TV financing: Models, tools, mergers & acquisitions and criteria for investment" aimed to offer a combined set of both standard and emerging perspectives on how project underwriting decisions are made, where to look for financing, types of investment, and what to have in place before seeking funding. Ignacio R. De Medina, Executive Producer at Grupo Black Panther; Richard Gray, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Acf Investment Bank; and Georgina Borbolla, CEO of Bold Finance, participated to share their views on the subject.
“Creating content from the business and not creating content to later see the business is definitely our key,” Medina began. Then, he emphasized in the importance of the IP, which he compared to a real state property. “There is nothing better for an investor to understand the concept of assets and the possibilities. That is the best way to explain our industry to an investor who do not know it,” he said.
When it comes to finding the right partner for a project, Medina pointed out that “it is important to find the right balance between the business side and the creative side”. Furthermore, he indicated that “the best way to open new markets and find new partners is through alliances, which provide not only money but also a different creative vision”.
In Borbolla’s words, “one of the most common mistakes that people do when looking for financing is making forecast and a lot of scenarios”. She then assured that there is not always a “black or white” decision, or not always taking the full IP or nothing. “There are a lot of things in the middle that you can explore. When you make scenarios to find studios for projects, it just does not work,” she added.
The executive also talked about the IP, admitting that producers always seem to think that keeping the whole IP is the most profitable option, but that is not always the case. “Maybe is better to keep the IP, maybe just a part of it or maybe even sell it as a production service,” she considered.
“The market is evolving. The producer is now at the top of the pile. They are in a position of power that they have never had. Moreover, the content is more alive than ever. There are so many outlets for that content to get to the market. Therefore, when a company is looking for investment, there are now more options available too,” Gray analyzed.
Lastly, referring specifically to Latin America, Borbolla notes a huge opportunity regarding gathering together producers and investors. “It is a challenge, but it is also an opportunity that we have in Latin America to professionalize how we pitch and finance projects to institutional investors. There is a huge opportunity if we can translate how we speak, model and forecast the whole project. There is a huge opportunity in creating value, but we also have to speak to the investors the way they want to hear it so they get convinced,” she concluded.