Paramount Pictures International has licensed UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa distribution rights for How To Lose Friends And Alienate People from Intandem Films.

Intandem has also struck deals for Portugal, Benelux, CIS, Greece, Cyprus, Scandinavia and the Middle East. The total value of pre-sales so far is $4.8m.

Andrew Cripps, President of Paramount Pictures International, said 'this should be a major release in the UK next year.'

Intandem also announced that it has successfully completed $27m in production financing for How To Lose Friends, which is now shooting in the UK and New York.

The backers are Aramid Entertainment Fund, the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund (which is putting in about $2.7m), Film4 and Lip Sync Productions. Law firm Davenport Lyons negotiated.

Intandem said it plans to promote the project to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival and AFM. The film is expected to launch at Cannnes 2008 and Paramount plans a UK release in the second half of 2008.

The film is adapted from Toby Young's book about his misadventures as an Englishman who tries to make it in the starry world of Manhattan magazines. Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson and Megan Fox star. Robert B Weide of Curb Your Enthusiasm directs.

Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen of Number 9 are producing, and the project was developed through the UKFC-supported SuperSlate including Number 9, Intandem, Film4 and the Irish Film Board. That slate also spawned Anand Tucker's And When Did You Last See Your Father'.

Film4 originally optioned the book and then got Number 9 on board, together they commissioned Peter Straughan to adapt Young's bestselling memoir. Tessa Ross, head of Film4 said: 'All of us at Film4 are really excited that Toby's hilarious book is being bought to the screen by such a great team and such a perfect cast.'

Gary Smith, chairman & chief executive of Intandem Films, said: 'How To Lose Friends And Alienate People represents exactly the type of film which Intandem likes to bring to distributors; a strong commercial project with an experienced producer and a high level of cast and crew I am delighted also that Aramid and the UK Film Council have come on board as financiers alongside Film 4.'

Simon Fawcett, CEO of Aramid Capital Partners, added: 'We believe this to be an exciting opportunity for the Aramid Entertainment Fund to provide finance to a project with an excellent script, a strong cast and producing team and one we feel showcases some of the best creative talent in the UK film industry today.'