DreamWorks looks to India to shed Viacom

DreamWorks SKG is close to a deal with Indian entertainment conglomerate Reliance ADA Group, The Wall Street Journal reported. The joint venture would give DreamWorks $500 million to $600 million that it could put toward ending its increasingly tense relationship with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures. (Reuters) Viacom bought DreamWorks for $1.6 billion in 2004. Reliance is talking to other Hollywood studios. (Los Angeles Times, free registration) Hollywood, meanwhile, is on track to beat last year’s record $4 billion summer take. So far this summer, box office receipts had totaled $1.46 billion, up 5 percent from last year. “It’s the least expensive way to get that entertainment fix,” said Paul Dergarabedian of Media By Numbers. (MarketWatch)

Sanofi makes play for Czech generics maker

Top French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis made a $2.6 billion bid for Czech pharmaceutical firm Zentiva, topping an earlier offer from financial firm PFF Group. Sanofi already owns 24.9 percent of Zentiva, which specializes in generic drugs, and PFF and its allies own 19.2 percent. (Reuters) Sanofi’s offer tops PFF’s by about 11 percent, and is 15 percent higher than Zentiva’s share price before PFF’s offer. Generics, which are seeing twice the growth rate of branded drugs, currently account for only 2 percent of Sanofi’s sales. “This might signify that they are truly interested in building their generics business,” said Bram Buring at Wood & Co. (Bloomberg)

LinkedIn joins ranks of billionaires

Professionals-oriented social networking site LinkedIn said Bain Capital Ventures and three existing investors purchased 5 percent of the company for $53 million, valuing LinkedIn at just over $1 billion. The 5-year-old company, which has been profitable since 2006, joins Facebook in the billionaire social-networking club. (Los Angeles Times, free registration) LinkedIn was the fourth most visited social site in May, but in contrast to the demographics of the other sites, its average member is 41 and earns $109,000 a year. It has 23 million members worldwide. (Reuters) “There are a lot of people who have both a Facebook and a LinkedIn account,” said Jeffrey Glass of Bain Capital. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity for these worlds to coexist.” (The Wall Street Journal, paid subscription)