Reliance & Spielberg sort out cash

Chris Forrester

Reliance Big Entertainment’s long-held plans to link itself with a Hollywood studio are finally taking tangible shape. Almost a year ago Reliance associated itself with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks operation. Now the cash is finally in place.

DreamWorks has tapped into $325m in fresh bank debt, and Reliance is stumping up a matching sum. Walt Disney is also throwing $175m into the DreamWorks pot in order to secure releases of their movie output.

However, good as this $825m is, it falls far short of the $1.25bn that Spielberg had said he originally wanted in order to fund his own studio – and to raise the cash he has had to hive off 50% of the business to Reliance. DreamWorks split from former funding partner Paramount last autumn.

Nevertheless, Reliance is stressing that there’s more Indian cash available, up to a total of $550m if certain targets are met by the new operation.