Having wrapped up negotiations with India's Reliance Big Entertainment, Spielberg and other DreamWorks brass begin potentially complicated discussions with Paramount over exit terms.
Reliance will provide $550 million in equity funding and JPMorgan Securities will lead a $500 million-$700 million bank syndication to reconstitute DreamWorks as a private company separate from Paramount. Team Spielberg hopes to get a first wholly DreamWorks-produced project into production by September 2009, but DreamWorks executives also are expected to negotiate for the right to take one or more development projects with them.
Other pending issues include the matter of who will distribute films produced by the new DreamWorks. Paramount could maintain a distributor relationship with the new company, but it is far more likely that Spielberg and DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider will ink a deal with Universal, where they have maintained offices even while Paramount employees.