Paramount needs $92.4 mil to produce pics

BERLIN — Germany’s state-run Landesbank Sachsen is taking last calls for its second film investment fund, which is backing Paramount’s boxing drama “Against the Ropes” with Meg Ryan and Brian Robbins’ high school comedy caper “The Perfect Score.”

The Filmbeteiligungs-Fonds II, on offer from LB Sachsen’s investment fund division Sachsenfonds, exclusively finances Paramount product and is aiming to raise €92.4 million ($92.4 million) for the projects.

Fund, which is set to close Dec. 20, is targeted at high earners looking to save on taxes by writing off initial losses on a minimum $15,000 investment. Thanks to its unique construction, Sachsenfonds’ investment vehicle has managed to sidestep tougher federal regulations that have made most new funds less attractive to investors.

Specifically, individual companies that in turn have profit and loss sharing deals with the fund, as opposed to the fund producing directly, are officially making the films. New rules introduced last summer no longer recognize film fund investors as producers but rather as acquirers of product, thus limiting their ability to write-off overhead expenditures. Not so with the new set-up.

Sachsenfonds’ first fund, launched last year, collected some $50 million for Kate Hudson-starrer “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”

Company said it will likely launch a third fund next year but is waiting to see if the federal finance ministry, which is cracking down on tax-sheltering vehicles of all kinds, continues to alter existing investment laws.

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