Built in 1918 by Thomas Ince, the silent movie pioneer, the studios have been owned by Cecil B. DeMille, RKO's Joseph Kennedy and Howard Hughes. Their 13 sound stages have been home to epics including King Kong, Rebecca and Citizen Kane; more recent films including State of Play; and television series from Lassie to America's Next Top Model. Pacific Coast Capital Partners, Lehman Brothers and Picbengro, a private vehicle for an undisclosed New York investor, bought the studios from Sony for $125 million in 2004, later selling a series of office buildings for about $50 million. The owners tried to sell before the 2008 financial crisis, attracting offers of more than $150 million, but were caught out by the market collapse that brought down Lehman, said Jamie Cella, chief executive. It is expected to announce within days that it has appointed CB Richard Ellis, the property agent, for the sale. "This is an iconic trophy. I've always felt I was a steward of history because it's been owned by all the kings of Hollywood," Cella said. "The interest in 2008 came from entertainment entities and some real estate opportunity funds, but now we see the market being driven by more international players." The sellers hope to attract wealthy emerging markets bidders, Cella said. "It's like when
By the Financial Times ( Financial Times) -- The Culver Studios, where a mocked-up Atlanta burned to the ground in "Gone With The Wind," will go up for sale this week with its owners hoping that the history of one of Hollywood's oldest independent lots will attract a $150 million-plus offer from a trophy-hunting international business mogul.