Anil Ambani group to bail out Spielberg's Hollywood venture?


New York, Sep 20 (IANS) Reliance Anil Ambani Group will pump $550 million into Steven Spielberg's Hollywood venture DreamWorks to start a new studio, breaking away from Viacom's Paramount Pictures, sources familiar with the deal said Saturday.

The Indian company will invest the money as equity, while another $750 million will come as debt from leading investment banker JP Morgan Chase, in what will result in a unique Hollywood-Bollywood partnership, the sources added.

“The deal has been sealed,” said a source.

DreamWorks was formed with much fanfare in 1994. But after an uneven run, it was sold to Viacom in 2006 for $1.6 billion. Since then, Spielberg and his associates were eager to part ways with Paramount.

Ambani's Reliance Big Entertainment had announced in Cannes in May that it would make a major foray into Hollywood and fund production houses run by actors like Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey and George Clooney.

This marked the biggest foray of an Indian entity in Hollywood's motion picture industry. Thirty films are likely to emanate from Reliance's co-financing and 10 will go into production, company officials had said.