If someone asked you to name the stars of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, you’d most likely be able to name them all. If they asked you the name of the production company? Again, probably a pretty easy answer. But who is the man behind it all? That man is chairman, Mark Rachesky. He is Lionsgate’s biggest shareholder, and he seems to know where the money is:
Rachesky, however, is secretive and likes to stay behind the scenes. Hollywood is littered with money men who were lured by the glitter of the movie business only to suffer losses, but Rachesky has made a fortune at it while keeping a low profile. His latest fund has returned 13% annually since 2007 thanks to Lions Gate and investments in industries ranging from trucking to energy, and he stands to earn at least $200 million in performance fees, and maybe much more, if things continue to go well. He is also raising $2.75 billion for a new investment pool. “He is very, very competitive,” says veteran Wall Street investment banker Joseph Perella, who’s seen Rachesky up close in the boardroom–and on the golf course. “He really wants to win.”
He’s not your average money man:
In other words, Rachesky is a bit quirky. In his office he always tries to sit with his back to the window so he can see what’s going on around him. He effortlessly draws diagrams of his investments upside down for the benefit of whoever is sitting opposite him. Rachesky is just trying to stay out of a game in which the vast majority of hedge fund traders struggle to outperform the market and buyout barons pay top dollar for companies that are widely pitched by the likes of Goldman Sachs. “You can buy less than a majority of a company and still have significant influence and control but not have to pay that vast control premium,” he says in his first on-the-record interview. “I am a huge believer that either you are in control of your own investment or someone else is in control, and they are not looking out for you.”
And the YA market definitely hasn’t hurt Lionsgate’s profits:
As a member of Lions Gate’s board, eventually serving as chairman, Rachesky signed off on the company’s $413 million acquisition of Summit Entertainment, a gamble on the final two Twilight films (combined box office: $1.5 billion), as well as big investments for the first Hunger Games movie. That film earned $691 million at the box office, and Wall Street expects about $950 million for the second chapter in the series. Shares of Lions Gate have more than quadrupled in the last three years to a recent $36. “People in Hollywood wonder who he is,” says Michael Burns, who holds the title of vice chairman at Lions Gate. “Mark doesn’t care about the notoriety. He doesn’t want his picture taken–he cares about making money.”
The article also featured a new photo of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
You can read the full article HERE.