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Ozzie Areu sues financier over control of Atlanta movie studio once owned by Tyler Perry

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A local Atlanta movie studio owner who used to work for Tyler Perry has sued a financier who took over his studio, claiming the new owner blocked him out and diverted funds away from the studio itself.

Ozzie Areu, former president for Tyler Perry Studios, and his brother Will Areu, purchased Perry’s old studio space from Perry for $18.5 million in 2018. But several months after the pandemic began in March 2020, Areu Studios filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In the filing, Areu Studios claimed assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.

Areu made an agreement with Los Angeles financier Steve M. Greenberg in March 2021 to loan $12.4 million through Arena Limited and provide a $700,000 equity investment to get the studio out of bankruptcy. Greenberg Georgia Film and TV Studio Holdings would effectively own 80% of the studio under the name Greenberg Georgia while Areu’s company Oz Media would own 20%. The bankruptcy court approved the reorganization plan.

Areu, in a lawsuit filed April 8 in the Superior Court of Fulton County, said he would remain CEO but “Mr. Greenberg, without consent from Mr. Areu, assumed full control.” See more here.

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