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Montecito Raises $200 Million for 10 Picture Film Slate for DreamWorks

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ — A $200 million production facility has been raised to co-finance motion pictures produced by The Montecito Picture Company. The transaction was announced by Montecito principals Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman.

The new financing vehicle, to be called Cold Spring Picture LLC, will co-finance ten motion pictures over the next five years. Cold Spring will have a first look agreement with DreamWorks Studios, coinciding with Montecito’s new five year first look agreement with DreamWorks, a relationship which has resulted in a number of successful comedies including ROAD TRIP (2000) and OLD SCHOOL (2003). The first of the ten Cold Spring pictures, DISTURBIA, starring Shia LaBeouf, David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss and Sarah Roemer, directed by DJ Caruso, has already completed principal photography, and will be released by DreamWorks through Paramount Pictures in 2007.

The $200 million capitalization is a combination of equity provided by Merrill Lynch and a consortium of hedge funds, together with bank debt, provided by a team of banks led by Merrill Lynch and Societe General.

Pollock and Reitman pointed out that while the agreement gives DreamWorks a first look on all Montecito and Cold Spring pictures they are free to accept projects from other major studios and to set up pictures that DreamWorks declines to co-finance.

"It is my hope to continue to create wonderful movies that will launch the film careers of a new generation of comedy talent," said Reitman.

"I’m proud of the confidence shown us by Merrill Lynch and our equity partners, as well as by Societe General," added Tom Pollock. "We are all very excited to be continuing our extremely productive six year relationship with DreamWorks."

Mike Blum, Managing Director and Head of Global Structured Finance & Investments, at Merrill Lynch, added "This deal is groundbreaking. We believe this is a unique investment opportunity to capitalize on the skills and experience of two of the most successful producers in Hollywood. The combination of 30 years of Ivan’s directing and producing, and Tom’s extensive background as an entertainment attorney, Chairman of Universal Pictures, and a Producer at Montecito are the ideal combination."

DreamWorks Co-Chairman and CEO, Stacey Snider said, "We are equally pleased about our continuing relationship with Montecito. We’ve loved working with Ivan, Tom, and all of us at DreamWorks look forward to working with their company to develop and produce films for a worldwide audience."

Deal was negotiated by Loeb & Loeb and Ziffren Brittenham with DreamWorks on behalf of Montecito and Cold Spring Pictures. The financing and banking arrangement by Sidley and Austin on behalf of Merrill Lynch and by Shepherd Mullin on behalf of Societe General and by Loeb & Loeb on behalf of Montecito and Cold Spring Pictures. The Spartan Group acted as Financial Advisor.