What Makes Giancarlo Run?

An inscrutable Italian dealmaker is Hollywood's newest tycoon

Even by Hollywood standards for intrigue, Giancarlo Parretti is a mogul wrapped in mystery. A former waiter who has been accused several times of financial transgressions in his native Italy, Parretti aroused suspense and ( skepticism last month when he disclosed his agreement to buy MGM/UA Communications for $1.2 billion from financier Kirk Kerkorian. But Parretti, 49, befuddled his doubters last week when he persuaded Time Warner to guarantee a $650 million loan to help his Los Angeles company, Pathe Communications, carry out the deal. "Who would ever have imagined that Pathe would buy MGM? Nobody!" exults Parretti. "Everybody laughed when...

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