Home >industry >Spielberg partners Reliance Entertainment, others to form production company

Los Angeles: Director Steven Spielberg raised more than $800 million in debt and equity for a new moviemaking partnership, according to people familiar with the situation, folding his DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Entertainment into the new venture.

Amblin Partners, formed with Participant Media, Reliance Group and Entertainment One, will create movies, television and digital programming under the Amblin, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant brands, the parties said Wednesday in a statement. The company will be backed by a $500 million loan, announced in the statement, and more than $300 million in equity from the partners, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing private details. Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures will distribute the films.

The accord answers how Spielberg, 68, will continue to produce the ambitious pictures he likes to make. Probably the best-known US film director, he has collaborated in the past with Participant on films like the Oscar-nominated “Lincoln" and “The Help," and has had the backing of India’s Reliance Group for years. The new deal makes Participant Media, led by former EBay Inc. executive Jeff Skoll, and Canada’s Entertainment One Ltd, principals in a multi-year partnership.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. structured and arranged the $500 million debt syndication together with Comerica Bank, which served as co-lead. Participant invested about $200 million in Amblin Partners, said one of the people. The balance came from Reliance, Spielberg and Entertainment One, the person said.

Amblin Partners will be led by current DreamWorks Studios executives Michael Wright and Jeff Small, who will be chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively. Prior being folded into the new company, Amblin was the independent production label Spielberg used to make movies for other studios.

Spielberg is the top-grossing director of all time, with domestic ticket revenue of $4.25 billion from film credits that include “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and “Raiders of the Lost Ark," according to researcher Box Office Mojo. He’s received more than a dozen best-director and best-picture nominations, including winners like “Schindler’s List" and “Saving Private Ryan." Bloomberg

Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay High court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.

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