Given that the markets are, well, tanking, DreamWorks and JP Morgan have wisely decided to wait a month to price the debt component of DreamWorks’ financing. This is why JP Morgan is doing so well. But does that mean the financial crisis will be over in a month? *crossing fingers*
THR: Representatives of the new DreamWorks film studio will delay pitching Wall Street on a bank loan package for about one month to give the banking market time to stabilise.
The good news is that DW principals Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider are confident that their new partners at Reliance Big Entertainment can provide all the capital necessary to get the new company up and running until the bank financing is secured. RBE has agreed to provide DW at least $550 million in exchange for a 50% equity stake in the newly liberated production company, recently separated from Paramount with several development projects in tow.
DW’s lead banker JPMorgan also will put up about $125 million and aims to secure similar pledges from one or more other lenders in January — or about a month later than initially envisioned. A small loan syndication also is planned with the hope that the various lending commitments will total $650 million or more.
Meanwhile, a distribution-deal announcement is expected in a week or so (we’ve heard that before), with Universal still in the lead. But Disney’s not out of the running and whoever ends up distributing DreamWorks’ films will likely provide that $150-million loan.
An additional loan of $150 million likely will also be provided by whoever wins the race to secure distribution rights on DW films. But that money would be tapped only if all other funds were exhausted, under plans presented to prospective distribution partners.
Universal remains in the lead for the DW distribution rights, with an announcement expected within the next week or so. But DW execs also are seriously mulling Disney as a possible alternate candidate, believing Disney’s roster of films might offer less thematic overlap with DW’s intended slate and thus pose less potential for conflict over key release dates.
Plus, THR offers up the latest on which films and people will end up where:
Under terms of a recently announced separation agreement between Paramount and DW, the studios tagged more than 15 film projects apiece for continued development by their respective production staffs.
It’s believed that DW will produce an untitled Lincoln biopic, political drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and kids literary adaptation “The 39 Clues.”
DW exec vp Holly Bario and production executive Mark Sourian are in line to share co-president of production duties at the new company. DW’s current production president Adam Goodman has been offered a post at Paramount.
1) David Geffen, you just retired from the film business, what are you going to do now?
2) Fox: still in the running to be DW’s new distributor or not?
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