Weinsteins investing in Asian films

5:00 AM PST 04/27/2007 by Gregg Kilday, AP

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Setting their sights on Asia, Bob and Harvey Weinstein are setting up a $285 million fund, with the help of Goldman Sachs, to invest in movies with Asian themes and elements.

The fund, first reported Thursday by Bloomberg News, will be used to finance the production, acquisition and marketing of about 31 Asian films to be distributed by the Weinstein Co. over six years. The offering summary said the target is 21 theatrically released films and 10 direct-to-video titles.

With Goldman Sachs serving as the private placement agent, the fund is to be capitalized with $200 million of senior debt, $45 million of mezzanine debt and $40 million of equity, including a $15 million contribution from the Weinstein Co. and $25 million from third-party investors.

The movies will have strong Asian themes, use Asian talent, will be produced or filmed in Asia or will have major story lines that take place in Asia.

Titles that the fund is expected to handle include Wong Kar Wai's "My Blueberry Nights," the opening-night film at the Festival de Cannes, and a remake of the Hong Kong martial arts movie "Come Drink With Me," directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Goldman Sachs also played a role in raising the $490 million in equity and $500 million in debt that the Weinsteins used to establish their company in 2005.

Jonathan Landreth in Beijing contributed to this report.

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