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DreamWorks, Reliance, Participant Media, eOne form new film, TV & digital venture

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MUMBAI: DreamWorks Studios principal partner Steven Spielberg, Participant Media chairman Jeff Skoll, Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani and Entertainment One (eOne) president and CEO Darren Throop have announced the formation of a new film, television and digital content creation company called Amblin Partners.

The new company will create content using the Amblin, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant brands and leverage their power and broad awareness to tell stories that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Participant Media will remain a separate company that continues to independently develop, produce and finance projects with socially relevant themes.

Amblin Partners will be led by CEO Michael Wright and president and COO Jeff Small.

In addition, Amblin Television will become a division of Amblin Partners and continues to be run by co-presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, who maintain their longtime leadership roles. They join producer Kristie Macosko Krieger and president of production Holly Bario on the film side, to complete Amblin Partners’ senior management team.

Participant Media CEO David Linde and Participant’s narrative feature team, led by executive vice president Jonathan King, will work closely with Amblin Partners to develop and produce specific content for the new venture in addition to exploring opportunities for co-productions and other content.

Spielberg said, “We are thrilled to partner with Jeff Skoll, Participant Media, and to continue our prolific relationship. We are of like minds, as our many collaborations have illustrated, with a mutual commitment to quality, premium entertainment and global vision.”

Skoll added, “I have had the good fortune of working with Steven for many years. We share a passion for stories that can truly affect change. And this new venture will further Participant’s growth and global impact.”

DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media have collaborated on many Academy Award nominated films such as Lincoln and The Help as well as the critically acclaimed The Hundred-Foot Journey, and the recently released Bridge of Spies.

Spielberg continued, “We are honoured to continue our long-term association with our dear friend, Anil Ambani and his team at Reliance. We have had the opportunity to develop and produce wonderful films thanks to their ongoing support.”

“We are delighted to continue our now seven-years-strong relationship with our valued partner, Steven Spielberg, and to extend this alliance to the formation of Amblin Partners with Jeff Skoll. We look forward to the combination of Steven’s passion and integrity with Jeff’s unique socially conscious vision to create uplifting and quality content to entertain global audiences,” Ambani said.

Spielberg said, “We are also grateful to Darren Throop and his team at Entertainment One for their contribution to Amblin Partners. We look forward to expanding our relationship.”

“We are delighted to join Steven Spielberg, Jeff Skoll and Reliance in launching this unique new venture,” Throop said. “We continually strive to partner with producers of the highest quality content, and Amblin Partners certainly represents the gold standard.”

Through this new partnership, eOne extends its collaboration into television production and distribution and expands its successful film distribution relationship across additional territories. eOne will handle the direct distribution of Amblin Partners films on a multi-territory output basis in Australia/New Zealand and Spain as well as the United Kingdom and the Benelux, where it previously had a successful output arrangement with DreamWorks Studios.

J.P.Morgan Chase structured and arranged the $500 million debt syndication together with Comerica Bank, which served as co-lead. Other financial institutions involved included Sun Trust Bank, Union Bank, City National Bank and Bank of America, among others.

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