NEW YORK – Viacom Inc.'s (VIA) Paramount Pictures Friday said it has agreed to sell its DreamWorks (DWA) film library to financier George Soros' investment fund and Dune Capital Management for $900 million.
The deal is part of Viacom's plans to revitalize its sluggish movie business. Viacom and its broadcast division CBS Corp. (CBS) were split apart in January to appeal to different classes of shareholders and compete more nimbly.
Paramount, which acquired the film library in its recent $1.6 billion purchase of DreamWorks SKG, aimed to defray the cost of the deal by selling the DreamWorks library of 59 titles, including"Gladiator" and "American Beauty."
Viacom also struck an exclusive five-year agreement to distribute films in the library.
Viacom's purchase price for DreamWorks, after the sale of the library, will be about $600 million "after the conversion of certain commercial agreements from debt to advances," Viacom said in a statement.
Paramount will keep a minority stake in the library and has the option to buy it back in five years, according to the terms of the deal.