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Sony reworking Guber deal: report

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LOS ANGELES, June 5 -- Sony Pictures Entertainment is reworking the terms of a movie financing deal with former free-spending studio chief Peter Guber's Mandalay Entertainment to include a limit of four movies a year and a cap on overhead, a published report said Wednesday. Daily Variety, citing unnamed sources, said the revised deal also will give Sony increased foreign rights to Mandalay films.

Mandalay previously handled its own foreign sales. Guber, who ran Sony's Columbia and TriStar studios for more than four years before leaving in September 1994, made the financing deal with Sony as part of his departure. Mandalay is structured as a multimedia company on the Sony lot in Culver City with operations in film, TV, CD- ROMs, theater, music and publishing. The move comes six months after Michael P. Schulhof, Sony Corp.'s top American executive, resigned as head of Sony Corp. of America. Schulhof was a key player in helping Sony engineer the $3.4 billion purchase of the Columbia and TriStar movie studios from Coca-Cola in 1989, which have resulted in massive losses for Sony. Sony has long been rumored to be considering unloading the studios and Schulhof's departure deepened that speculation. Mandalay had a major presence at the recent Cannes Film Festival with a slate of movies expected out later this year and in 1997, including 'The Fan,' starring Robert DeNiro, 'Donnie Brasco,' starring Al Pacino, and 'Seven Years in Tibet,' starring Brad Pitt.

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