Conservative Koch brothers are secret investors in 'Wonder Woman' (exclusive)


Though they might be the most reviled figures among Hollywood's liberal crowd, the Koch brothers have been a silent investor in Warner Bros.' slate of movies for four years.

Sources say Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch — who are worth a combined $96.2 billion and wield enormous power in political circles as major backers of right-wing politicians — took a significant stake valued at tens of millions of dollars in RatPac-Dune Entertainment. Now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brought the brothers in as investors as part of a $450 million deal struck in 2013 — a move that was never disclosed because RatPac-Dune is a private company.

Though Mnuchin is no longer involved with the slate financing facility, having recently put his stake into a blind trust in order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Koch brothers continue to be stakeholders in such films as Wonder Woman, Dunkirk and Steven Spielberg's upcoming Ready Player One.

A RatPac spokesperson didn't respond to a request. A spokesperson for Koch Industries says, "Charles Koch, David Koch and Koch Industries do not have any involvement with this investment."

The brothers aren't the only unlikely billionaires who have sunk money into the Warner Bros. deal. Sources say Mnuchin also brought in Bill Gates for an amount similar to the Koch brothers'.

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'Wonder Woman' premiere: Red carpet arrivals
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'Wonder Woman' premiere: Red carpet arrivals
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Robin Wright arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Gal Gadot arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Gal Gadot arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actor Chris Pine arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actor Kellan Lutz and mom Karla Pope arrive at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Danielle Panabaker arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actors Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Stunt woman Jessie Graff attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Stunt woman Jessie Graff attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: arrives for the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' held at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Connie Nielsen arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Connie Nielsen (C), sons Sebastian Sartor and Bryce Thadeus Ulrich-Nielsen arrive at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Alona Tal attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Noa Tishby attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Madeleine Vall Beijner (L) and guest attend the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: (L-R) Amber Nichole Miller and Tito Ortiz attend the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
Caity Lotz dons Alexis Bittar jewelry at the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Crystal Reed attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Alexandra Siegel arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Melvin Gordon arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Juliana Harkavy arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Amy Pemberton attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Molly Quinn attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Pamela Horton attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Brooke Ence attends the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Amy Pemberton arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Tiffany Smith arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actress Jessica Chabot Nevdist arrives at the Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Elena Anaya arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' held at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
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Gates, still the world's richest man despite a brief stint at No. 2 late last month, might seem an odd investor in the volatile business of slate financing. In fact, the facility is currently underwater, having endured such misses as the Will Smith star vehicle Collateral Beauty, the Will Ferrell-Amy Poehler pairing The House and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which stands to lose as much as $150 million for Warners, offsetting the studio's big earners like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and American Sniper.

Outside of Microsoft, Gates has invested conservatively in such blue-chip companies as UPS, Walmart and Coca-Cola. The closest his portfolio gets to Hollywood is an investment in Grupo Televisa, a major media, cable and pay TV company in Mexico. A request to Microsoft for comment was not returned.

Unlike Mnuchin, you won't see the trio of uber-billionaires listed as executive producers on any of the films they've backed. As for why the Kochs and Gates have kept their involvement secret, a source familiar with the deal says it's simple. "They're in it to make money. They're not in it for the recognition," says the source.

41 PHOTOS
Gal Gadot's style transformation
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Gal Gadot's style transformation
QUITO, ECUADOR: Miss Israel Gal Gadot waves to photographers 13 May 2004 in Quito. The Miss Universe 2004 contest will take place 01 June 2004. AFP PHOTO/Martin BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
QUITO, ECUADOR: Miss Peru Liesel Holler and Miss Israel Gal Gadot pose for the photographers 17 May 2004, in Quito City, Ecuador, during the First session of interviews. The Miss Universe 2004 contest will take place 01 June 2004. AFP PHOTO/Martin BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
QUITO, ECUADOR: Miss Israel Gal Gadot smiles as she holds some bananas, 20 May 2004, in Quito. The Miss Universe 2004 contest will be held next 01 June in Ecuador. AFP PHOTO/Martin BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
QUITO, ECUADOR: Miss Serbia&Montenegro Dragana Dujovic, Miss Canada Vennesa Fisher and Miss Israel Gal Gadot dance on the stage during the first official presentation with the panel of judges in Quito, 27 May 2004. The Miss Universe 2004 contest will take place on 01 June. AFP PHOTO/Martin BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
QUITO, ECUADOR: Miss Israel Gal Gadot smiles during the Miss Universe final show in Quito, Ecuador, 01 June 2004. AFP PHOTO/MARTIN BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 19: 2004 Miss Israel winner Gal Gadot attends Maxim's 'Women of the Israeli Defense Forces' Celebration at Marquee June 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MARCH 12: Actress Gal Gadot arrives at the premiere Universal's 'Fast & Furious' held at Universal CityWalk Theaters on March 12, 2009 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Gal Gadot attends the CW Network celebration of its new series 'The Beautiful Life: TBL' at the Simyone Lounge on September 12, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage for The CW Network)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Gal Gadot attends the World Premiere of 'Fast & Furious 6' at Empire Leicester Square on May 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MAY 21: Gal Gadot arrives at the 'Fast & The Furious 6' - Los Angeles Premiere at Gibson Amphitheatre on May 21, 2013 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 11: Actress Gal Gadot attends the Max Mara and W Magazine cocktail party to honor the Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Awards recipient Hailee Steinfeld at Beverly Hills Hotel on June 11, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - AUGUST 28: Actress Gal Gadot attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Riddick' at the Mann Village Theatre on August 28, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 26: (L-R) Actors Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck attend the Warner Bros. Pictures panel and presentation during Comic-Con International 2014 at San Diego Convention Center on July 26, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 11: Actress Gal Gadot from 'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice' walks onstage at the Warner Bros. presentation during Comic-Con International 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 13: Actress Gal Gadot is seen walking in Soho on July 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: Actress Gal Gadot is seen walking in Soho on July 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Gal Gadot attends the UK Premiere of 'The Last Witch Hunter' at Empire Leicester Square on October 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 15: Gal Gadot is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on March 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 19: Actress Gal Gadot attends 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Mexico City photo call at St Regis Hotel on March 19, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Victor Chavez/WireImage)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 19: Actress Gal Gadot attends the 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' world premiere Mexico City at Auditorio Nacional on March 19, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Victor Chavez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: Actress Gal Gadot attends the 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice' New York Premiere at Radio City Music Hall on March 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Gal Gadot attends the European Premiere of 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice' at Odeon Leicester Square on March 22, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Gal Gadot attends the UK Premiere of 'Criminal' at The Curzon Mayfair on April 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actress/model Gal Gadot attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 08: Actress Gal Gadot attends premiere of 20th Century Fox's 'Keeping up with the Joneses' at Fox Studios on October 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - OCTOBER 08: Gal Gadot at the 'Keeping Up with the Joneses' Press Conference at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on October 8, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 13: Actress Gal Gadot celebrates the unveiling of the renovated Tiffinay & Co. Beverly Hills store at Tiffany & Co. on October 13, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Gal Gadot seen at Jimmy Kimmel Live on October 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 20: Gal Gadot attends the Ford Warriors in Pink and The Moms host a mamarazzi event and screening for 'Keeping Up With The Joneses' at The London Hotel on October 20, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Actress Gal Gadot attends the Wonder Woman UN Ambassador Ceremony at United Nations on October 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: 74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actress Gal Gadot arrives to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Gal Gadot attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - MAY 15: Israeli actress Gal Gadot attends the press conference for film 'Wonder Woman (2017)' on May 15, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Actress Gal Gadot is seen walking into 'Good Morning America' on May 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Actress Gal Gadot is seen arriving at Aol Live in Soho on May 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Gal Gadot visits Build Presents discussing 'Wonder Woman' at Build Studio on May 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0681 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Gal Gadot during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on May 23, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Gal Gadot seen out in Manhattan on May 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 25: Actor Gal Gadot attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MAY 27: Actress Gal Gadot attends the 'Wonder Woman' Mexico City premiere at Parque Toreo on May 27, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Victor Chavez/WireImage)
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The idea of the Koch brothers as Hollywood stakeholders might be difficult to swallow for some of the industry's more liberal-minded power players like Spielberg and Ben Affleck, whose 2016 drama Live by Night was one of the films co-financed by RatPac-Dune.

After all, the brothers own 84 percent of Koch Industries, which is considered a prolific polluter and has engaged in a decades-long lobbying campaign to weaken environmental regulations. Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., Koch Industries is a sprawling firm that focuses on fossil fuels, fertilizers, and synthetic fabrics and materials but also has an investment arm.

The Kochs served as the titular subjects of Carl Deal and Tia Lessin's 2013 documentary Citizen Koch, which chronicled how the brothers funded the rise of the Tea Party.

"I don't think the Kochs have spent a dime of money out of altruism. It's all toward advancing their bottom line, whether it's in politics or the private sector. I don't think it would be too cynical to believe that this was not calculated. It doesn't bode well for Hollywood," says Deal.

A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Read more: Box-Office Milestone: 'Wonder Woman' Crosses $400M in North America

10 PHOTOS
Gal Gadot at Comic-Con 2017
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Gal Gadot at Comic-Con 2017
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: Actors Ben Affleck (L) and Gal Gadot attend the Warner Bros. Pictures 'Justice League' Presentation during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) (L-R) Actors Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, and Gal Gadot attend the Warner Bros. Pictures 'Justice League' Presentation during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: (L-R) Moderator Chris Hardwick with actors Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, and Ezra Miller from 'Justice League' attend the Warner Bros. Pictures Presentation during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: Actor Gal Gadot attends the Warner Bros. Pictures 'Justice League' Presentation during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Cast member Gal Gadot at a panel for "Justice League" during the 2017 Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, California, U.S., July 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: (L-R) Actors Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, and Jason Momoa from 'Justice League' attend the Warner Bros. Pictures Presentation during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: Actor Gal Gadot during the 'Justice League' autograph signing at Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: Actor Gal Gadot during the 'Justice League' autograph signing at Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: Actor Gal Gadot during the 'Justice League' autograph signing at Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
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