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Ex-President of Carolco Starts Own Company

CANNES REPORT: One in a series of articles.


CANNES, France — Peter M. Hoffman, the former president and chief executive of Carolco Pictures Corp., has formed an entertainment company called CineVisions.

The company will seek out business opportunities in emerging entertainment markets such as India, Indonesia and Eastern Europe. As chairman of CineVisions, Hoffman also will work as a financial consultant to the industry. He said he may even independently produce low-budget movies.

CineVisions' backers include Canyons Partners Inc., an investment banking firm, and Manchester Group Ltd., global business consultants.

Manchester is headed by Roderick M. Hills, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the husband of U.S. Trade Representative Carla Anderson Hills.

In an interview on his boat docked on the French Riviera, Hoffman said unexploited entertainment markets such as India represent the best opportunity for American companies to raise sagging profits.

CineVision hopes to create alliances between American and foreign businesses, Hoffmann explained.

"There's a market sitting there that's potentially huge," he said. "We will look for strong partners who will then develop that market."

As a consultant, Hoffman will offer advice on distribution and financing. He said he will also seek out low-cost loans for entertainment projects.

"There's a unique opportunity, because the cost of capital is very low now," Hoffman said. "The major studios have to act more like the independent companies--which means that they have to find more creative financing."

Hoffman earned a reputation as a financial wizard during his six-year tenure at Carolco, even though the Los Angeles-based producer of "Terminator 2" and other major films eventually tumbled into financial trouble. A falling out with Chairman Mario Kassar led to his resignation this year.

The bearded Hoffman said he may have to return to film production on a small-scale basis. He would like to make films in the $5-million to $7-million range.

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