We’ve been dubious about DreamWorks’s ability to secure the debt portion of the money they need to bankroll their new studio. After all, the credit markets are still, as they say, crunched—and the studio already had to scale back its fundraising ambitions. Plus, it’s probably not helping that Reliance Big Entertainment’s CEO Anil Ambani lost $30.5 billion last year.
But, amazingly, DreamWorks has been able to secure $150 million of the $325 million in debt financing they’re currently seeking. JPMorgan, which is leading the syndication, is understandably putting up $75 million. But we were surprised to see who else was among the banks eager to invest in Hollywood again.
[I]t is believed that DreamWorks’ long-standing bankers at Citi National and Comerica will provide a combined $75 million or more. [Reliance Big Entertainment’]s relationships in India with Bank of Scotland and BNP also are being mined.
Others studying terms sheets include Wachovia, Citibank, CIT Bank and US Bank. [Emphasis ours]
Wait. Citibank? The same Citibank that’s currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Relativity Media over the firm’s 2007 slate-financing deal with Relativity and Sony, which we hear Citi’s execs tried to get out of at the eleventh hour?
Wachovia seems to be a fairly new name in the film-financing arena (correct us if we’re wrong), but after losing so much money on subprime mortgage bets, we’re surprised that they’re so eager to invest in equally risky assets.
Citi and Wachovia must have a lot of confidence in DreamWorks’s movies.
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