Having already accessed German private film funds initiated this year by Alcas and Bayerische Immobilien-Leasing (BIL)/Deutsche Bank, Paramount Pictures is set to benefit from a new German private equity fund launched by SachsenFonds and EastMerchant.

The Euros 52.7m MMP Investitions GmbH & Co. 2001 KG will be inviting private individuals to invest a minimum of Euros 15,000 each by December 20, 2001 to finance the romantic comedy How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, which is budgeted at $40m and is slated to star hot Oscar-nominated actress Kate Hudson (Almost Famous).

According to the fund prospectus, contracts have already been signed for the Amsterdam-based Viacom International subsidiaries Futa B.V. and Global Film Distributors B.V. to serve as production services company and world sales agent respectively, while Viacom's Worldwide Productions Inc. will furnish a completion bond for the production.

Moreover, the fund is being advised on project selection and contractual issues by veteran producer Willi Baer and media lawyer Winfried Hammacher through their Essen-based company W2 Filmproduktion Und Vertriebs GmbH

Baer's recent (executive) producer credits include Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune (1999), Mike Figgis' Miss Julie (1999), Rod Lurie's The Contender (2000), Forever Lulu (2000) and Prozac Nation (2001), the last three with German media fund Cinerenta.