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Film Finance Veterans Blum, Hoffman Join Investment Bank

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Movie finance veterans, including Peter Hoffman, who helped Colony Capital raise funds to buy Miramax, and former Merrill Lynch executive Michael Blum, formed a new investment bank with Solar Entertainment Group.

Solar Entertainment HLB will be managed by Hoffman and Alexandra Lloyd, according to a statement today from the group. Blum, who spent 16 years at Merrill Lynch, will be chairman. The principals of the parent company are Jared Underwood, formerly with Comerica Inc., and Bobby Paunescu.

Solar Entertainment HLB will raise debt and equity for film production, content acquisition and digital delivery for entertainment companies, including major studios. The partners plan a particular focus on matching investors in the U.S. and abroad to opportunities in entertainment and media.

“It has become a much more global landscape,” Hoffman said in an interview. “It requires a much more dedicated focus.”

Solar Entertainment Group includes Solar Pictures, an independent film production and finance company that focuses on smaller movies with budgets below $40 million.

Hoffman and Lloyd have both worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Blum’s experience at Merrill Lynch included overseeing transactions involving Marvel Studios, Summit Entertainment, now a part of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., and ICM, the talent agency.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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