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Spielberg ‘Very Close’ to Agreement on Film Funding

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG is close to securing the $325 million in loans it is seeking to help finance movie production, a spokesman said.

“We’re very close to the finish line,” Chip Sullivan, a spokesman for DreamWorks, said today by telephone. “It certainly is our expectation that we will be fully committed and able to announce that soon.” He declined to discuss the timing of the loans or other details.

Contracts with banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., may be signed by late June or early July, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The person requested anonymity because details of the funding have not been made public.

Closing the loans will trigger a matching equity investment from Mumbai-based Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd., enabling Spielberg, 62, to resume movie production. Los Angeles-based DreamWorks hasn’t had money for new films since it broke away from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures in September.

At the time of the split, DreamWorks said it expected to have funding and begin production on new films in early 2009. Credit-market turmoil slowed the loan process, forcing Spielberg and Reliance, a part of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Ltd., to pay startup costs themselves.

Walt Disney Co. said in February that it will loan DreamWorks as much as $200 million in separate financing as part of an agreement to distribute the studio’s movies, people familiar with the deal said at the time.


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