Happy Days for small-time investors

By AltFi on Monday 21 October 2013

Savings and Investment

Everyday investors are being invited to back a musical version of Happy Days, the classic American sitcom, on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.  

Garry Marshall, the creator of the original TV series, has written the show and they are seeking £250,000 in return for a share in the profits of the new show.

In the world’s first equity crowdfunding project for a major theatrical production, backers will be able to invest as little as £10 to help get the show off the ground and investors in the show will receive a combined 25pc share of any profits from the production.

The show will include stars such Ben Freeman formerly of Emmerdale, Heidi Range from the Sugarbabes and Cheryl Baker, of Bucks Fizz fame. Also Henry Winkler, who famously played The Fonz in the hit 1950s-set comedy, is acting as Creative Consultant on the musical version of the show.

Todd Ruppert, chief executive of RTR International and a co-producer of the show, said: “Investing in theatre productions is normally reserved for the wealthy. With this show, we wanted to give everyone the chance to be a part of what we believe can be a big hit. We’re sure that all audiences will love the musical, but those who have backed it financially will enjoy it even more – they’ll have helped make the show happen.”

While a number of theatre and film investments have raised money using so called ‘rewards-based’ crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, this is the first time crowd investors will be able to get a share in the profits of a major theatrical production in return for their investment.

Jeff Lynn, chief executive of Seedrs, said: “We’re delighted this hugely exciting business is raising finance on our platform. The term ‘angel investor’ originally comes from the theatre, where it was used to describe wealthy individuals who provided money for theatrical productions. With the Happy Days musical, we’re allowing ordinary investors to back – and potentially receive returns from – an exciting new show. And as an avid theatre fan myself, I am personally looking forward to having the chance to own a small part of this production.”

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