Paramount Motion Picture Group (PMPG) has set up a $300m filmfinancing fund called Melrose Investors 2 (Melrose 2) with Dresdner Kleinwort.
The fund will invest in the production of at least 30 picturesthat will go out under the PMPG umbrella, which covers Paramount, DreamWorksSKG, MTV Films and Nick Movies. Paramount Vantage and Paramount Classicsreleases are not covered by the arrangement.
2007 releases that will be funded under the deal include familyadventure The Spiderwick Chronicles, Antoine Fuqua's crime drama Shooter, the inner city drama Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank, and the romanticcomedy Norbit.
The deal has already backed three titles on the 2006 slate, namelythe recent number one hit Jackass: Number Two, as well as the current internationalbox office champion World Trade Center, and Nacho Libre.
Melrose 2 is the follow-up transaction to the 2004 MelroseInvestors fund, which invested $225m in 25 PMPG releases and kicked off withthe 2004 Lindsay Lohan comedy Mean Girls.
"The successful closing of Melrose 2 demonstrates a stronginvestor appetite for the film sector, as well as Paramount's considerableappeal to the investor community," Laura Fazio, managing director and headof media, global banking, Dresdner Kleinwort, said.
"Paramount's movie labels reach a diverse set of moviegoers -from kids and teens to adults and families - and we have every confidencein the films being assembled under the leadership of Brad Grey and histeam."
Paramount engaged Dresdner Kleinwort to advise on the developmentof the co-financing structure and arranged its funding.
Dresdner Kleinwort is based in London and Frankfurt and is theinvestment bank of Dresdner Bank AG and a member of the Allianz Group.