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Carolco Pictures Is Talking to Several Potential Investors

From a Times Staff Writer

Carolco Pictures Inc., best known for producing the Rambo movies, confirmed Friday that it is holding “preliminary” discussions with several possible investors.

Carolco identified RCS Video, a division of Italy’s Fiat Group, as a potential partner. It declined to reveal further details, but a spokesman said “no agreements or understandings” have been reached.

Carolco’s statement came in response to recent reports that it had entered into negotiations for an emergency cash infusion. Daily Variety, the industry trade paper, reported Thursday that Giovanni Agnelli, chairman of Fiat Group, was considering a $100-million to $200-million equity investment in the West Hollywood-based company.

Sources said Carolco needs the money to fund production of its next two films, “Basic Instinct” and “Universal Soldier.”

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President Peter Hoffman, however, denied that the company is short of cash. Carolco is expected to release its year-end results within a month.

Carolco, Hollywood’s largest independent film company, was rocked in December when a Los Angeles judge accused Chairman Mario Kassar of making personal use of studio funds. The judge froze 2.2 million of Kassar’s shares and limited his access to company accounts.

Carolco is known for making big-budget pictures with major stars such as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Its current releases include Steve Martin’s “L.A. Story” and Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” Carolco finances the majority of its costs through foreign presales.


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