Reliance ADAG & Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG deal inked

MUMBAI: Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) has finally signed the much touted deal with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG.

According to a source close to the development, ADAG entertainment arm Reliance BIG Entertainment will invest $ 1.5 billion in DreamWorks SKG via debt and equity. "’As of now there will be no name change in the company," the source says.

Reports suggest that Reliance ADAG will pump in $550 million as equity investment while JPMorgan Chase & Co. will lead the $700 million debt financing. According to reports the total investment will be in the range of $ 1.2 – $ 1.3 billion, however the total sum to be pumped in the venture will be $1.5 billion.

"The company will be investing in a slate of 32 movies to be made over a period of six years," says a source in Reliance ADAG.

In a simultaneous development, Paramount has relieved Spielberg along with DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider with immediate effect so as to join this new venture.

Spielberg has been associated with Viacom’s Paramount Studio for the last three years when Paramount acquired the DreamWorks live-action studio in 2005.

DreamWorks SKG was founded by Spielberg (S), Jeffrey Katzenberg (K) and David Geffen (G) in 1994. However, Katzenberg left the venture and is now the CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., which is a separate company, which is listed on the stock market. Geffen is also expected to leave the venture post the ADAG investment.

Earlier this year, Reliance ADAG’s entertainment arm Reliance BIG Entertainment has also signed development fund deals with the production houses of Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, George Clooney, Nicholas Cage and Chris Columbus.

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