Soros is sweet on library deal

Paramount is in exclusive negotiations to sell the DreamWorks film library to George Soros’ private equity fund.

Par is looking to earn fees for distribution of the DreamWorks titles, and seeks to retain the right to buy back the library within five years.

In a statement issued Sunday, Paramount confirmed it’s in talks but declined to elaborate further. The studio has said publicly it plans to sell the 59-title library for up to $1 billion to partially finance its $1.6 billion purchase of DreamWorks.

“We are in an ongoing negotiation, and it is not our policy to comment publicly on the details of those discussions,” the studio said in the statement.

Par is looking to close the Soros deal before the end of the month.

Because Paramount parent Viacom was in the process of being split in two late last year, Par was unable to fully finance the cost of the DreamWorks deal.

Viacom prexy Tom Freston and Paramount topper Brad Grey sought DreamWorks as a way to quickly beef up Par’s slate for 2006 and ’07, as it’s unwinding its UIP foreign distribution partnership and setting up its own operation. DreamWorks deal also calls for Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to produce four to six movies a year.

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