The creators of South Park are in discussions with Carlyle Group Inc. for a private loan totaling around $800 million that would be used to refinance an existing credit facility and fund a cash payout, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
(Bloomberg) — The creators of South Park are in discussions with Carlyle Group Inc. for a private loan totaling around $800 million that would be used to refinance an existing credit facility and fund a cash payout, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The loan to Park County, a media company created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone to manage their various assets, would be backed by the intellectual property from the hit TV show, as well as related properties including the Casa Bonita restaurant and Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, the people said. The deal is not final and details may change, they added, asking not to be named discussing a private transaction.
The loan, to be made via Carlyle’s credit arm, would refinance an existing $600 million debt facility provided by HPS Investment Partners in 2021, the people said. Parker and Stone signed a deal with ViacomCBS Inc. the same year paying more than $900 million over six years, one of the richest in TV history. The HPS loan appraised their library at close to $1 billion at the time.
The Carlyle loan may pay around 6.75 percentage points over the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, price at a two cent discount and mature in six years, according to another person familiar.
Representatives for Park County, Carlyle and HPS declined to comment.
The move marks Carlyle’s latest foray into the content and entertainment space. The firm provided a $175 million asset-backed credit facility to independent entertainment company New Regency earlier this year. A Carlyle-backed venture also recently acquired the rights to singer Katy Perry’s song catalog, after a similar deal with country star Keith Urban late last year.
In 2021, Parker and Stone said they were going to use the money from the HPS loan to invest in a wide range of creative endeavors, including a documentary series, a cannabis company and a 3D video game that is set in the world of South Park.
–With assistance from Davide Scigliuzzo and Reshmi Basu.
(Updates fourth paragraph to include indicative pricing and tenor.)
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