FFI Holdings (LON:FFI) is historically a US based speciality finance business (actually listed in Media and Publishing industry sector) that's in the process of morphing into a broader based platform company providing services through the production life cycle to the film/TV/streaming production industry. Its been privately owned since founding in 1950 following the financing crisis that hit UK film industry in late 40s - interesting history here http://www.filmfinances.com/about

Its bread and butter is the market leader in providing 'completion contracts' which are a specialist form of insurance that enables smaller and independent producers to secure the financing they require. Typically, the premium is 1.5-2% of total production costs. 

Interestingly, embedded within the process for writing a completion contract is a form of project consultancy and viability assessment provided by FFI to producers and their partners (including backers). FFI make sure of the coherence of plans and contracts, then monitor to see if on track. My guess is that this gives FFI a rather heightened and protected position in the film making process and is one that creates a moat that protects competitive position and margins. It is possible/probable that it will also help them be a provider of other non-creative services to film makers as per their growth strategy further below.

The following 4 paragraphs from FY17 results provides context on core business:

"FFI issues completion contracts for approximately 200 productions per annum, which is more than all the feature films produced by the major studios in the United States combined. For this service, FFI charges a fee based on the total production budget. In turn, FFI mitigates its risk by buying insurance, thereby earning a profitable spread on each production. Fees charged by FFI are paid and received up front and in full at the time the completion contract is issued.

The Group’s completion contract business has seen a growing total budget of FFI bonded projects since 2000. As at the end of March 2017, the total annual budget of FFI’s bonded projects had grown to US$2.4 billion, three times the level it was in 2000. In parallel with the growth in total production budget, FFI has also seen significant growth in the average budget of the productions it bonds since 2000. As at the end of March 2017, the annual average budget…

Unlock the rest of this Article in 15 seconds

or Unlock with your email

Already have an account?
Login here