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  1. #1
    Master of dR
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    Mar 2010


    Smile Reliance own's half of Dreamworks

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    Mumbai-based Reliance ADA Group will invest $500 million in equity and provide another $700 million in debt through J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. toward the new venture, which will produce about six films a year.

    News of the talks between DreamWorks principals and Reliance surfaced in June, but an agreement wasn't finalized until now, these people said.

    A DreamWorks spokesperson had no comment. Rajesh Sawhney, head of Reliance Big Entertainment, a division of Reliance ADA Group, also declined to comment.

    Now that the DreamWorks team has sealed the agreement with Reliance, attention will quickly shift to the question of where the new company will distribute its films. General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures, where Mr. Spielberg began his career, is thought to be a top choice, though an agreement has yet to be reached. The DreamWorks team also plans to strike a new deal with Time Warner Inc.'s HBO.

    Once those deals are in place, DreamWorks principal David Geffen is expected to resign from Paramount, where DreamWorks has been stationed since it was sold to Viacom in 2006. Mr. Geffen isn't expected to be part of the new venture.

    Mr. Spielberg and Ms. Snider will depart Paramount after a series of high-profile disagreements with the studio during their short time together. Even after the pair leave, however, Mr. Spielberg will continue to work with the studio on a number of movies.

    Mr. Spielberg will continue to have creative control over certain projects at the studio. While it was once thought that the DreamWorks team would try to take some projects with them to the new venture, it is now more likely that those films will remain at Paramount, with Mr. Spielberg receiving compensation for his involvement.

    The marriage between some of Hollywood's biggest names and an Indian conglomerate is less surprising than it seems. The new deal comes in the wake of a financial drought in Hollywood, with the industry looking to foreign investors to replace some of billions of dollars that Wall Street poured into film financing in recent years but has since evaporated with the crumbling credit markets.

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