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De Laurentiis Discloses Offers From 3 Suitors : Cannon Group Among Firms Bidding for Stake

Times Staff Writer

De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, which sought the protection of bankruptcy court in mid-August, said late Wednesday that it has received three preliminary offers from companies interested in acquiring a controlling stake in the beleaguered motion picture company.

Beverly Hills-based DEG said the overtures came from Cannon Group, Atlantic Entertainment Group and Image Entertainment and are for undisclosed combinations of cash and securities.

It was not immediately clear which assets constitute the primary lure for the bidders. DEG’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Aug. 16 listed $163 million in assets as of July 31 but noted that its voluntary filing excluded such assets as its North Carolina Film Studios and a newly formed production entity called Onyx Entertainment.

An affiliated company, De Laurentiis Film Partners, also was excluded.

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The company noted Wednesday that any agreement with one of the three bidders “would be subject to the approval” of the bankruptcy court.

DEG Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen R. Greenwald was said to be in New York and could not be contacted for comment. In a prepared statement, however, Greenwald said the company has retained the Los Angeles office of Oppenheimer & Co., an investment banking firm, to help evaluate the offers.

DEG identified Image Entertainment as a publicly held company that distributes laser video discs in the United States and Canada, while publicly held Cannon and privately held Atlantic are engaged in the motion picture business.

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In his prepared statement, Greenwald also noted that the company had filed a petition with the court seeking permission to change its name to Pacific Coast Entertainment Inc.


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