Monday, December 10, 2007

Are rising oil prices paying for movies?

by Ali Jaafar from Variety (US)

First among the most recent deals was Dubai Intl. Capital's acquisition of between 2% and 3% of Sony Corp. DIC, an investment company owned by Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed Al Maktoum, reputedly paid up to $1.5 billion for its Sony stake, which though undisclosed is "substantial," according to a DIC statement. Egyptian brokerage firm Borak Holding followed that by investing $550 million in U.S. shingle the Insomnia Media Group. The two firms are collaborating on a $70 million historical war epic about a 12th century Arab general, which they hope will go into production by next summer ... In October Abu Dhabi inked a multibillion-dollar, multimedia deal with Warner Bros. that includes a $500 million film fund, $500 million vidgame fund and real-estate projects. Viacom has forged a strategic partnership with the UAE-based Arab Media Group, which has seen the November launch of MTV Arabia and will be followed next year by an Arabic- language Nickelodeon channel. MBC chairman and founder Saudi Sheik Waleed Al-Ibrahim has invested heavily in Mark Gill and Neil Sacker's new production and finance shingle, the Film Dept., while rival Saudi maven Prince Waleed bin Talal will expand the film division of his multimedia titan Rotana into English-language pic production.

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