New Line, LHI pact to fund pair of pics

Euros to back 'Blade 2,' 'Benjamins'

BERLIN — New Line Cinema has pacted with German financier LHI Leasing to raise 113 million euros ($96 million) to back pics “Blade 2” and “All About the Benjamins.”

Last week, LHI closed two “private placement” funds that raised $131 million for various Universal projects as well as $43 million for New Line’s Jack Nicholson starrer “About Schmidt.”

Just in time

All three funds were launched in time to qualify under Germany’s “transitory tax laws” for projects that have already begun. Under new media laws, it will be harder for companies to board foreign projects.

“Blade 2,” directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Wesley Snipes, began filming in Prague earlier this year.

“Benjamins,” the directorial debut of Kevin Bray, stars Ice Cube, who also co-wrote the project.

LHI specializes in private placements, which offer investment opportunities to any individual. Company also has launched a number of public funds, which are open to any number of investors. Both offer tax writeoff incentives.

Last year, LHI placed a $103 million public fund to back Mandalay’s “Beyond Borders.” Project is in search of a new director after Oliver Stone dropped out.

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