CINAR seeking prod’n coin in new public offering

CINAR Films is the latest Canadian film and TV company to go public. The Montreal-based production and distribution outfit — which specializes in children’s TV fare — has issued a preliminary prospectus with securities regulators in each of the provinces across Canada, and CINAR expects to issue common shares in early September.

In recent months, Toronto’s Paragon Entertainment has gone public, and Alliance Communications also filed to issue common shares.

Projects financing

CINAR intends to use most of the cash raised for interim financing of future projects, and $ C1.8 million ($ 1.4 million) will go to paying off a chunk of its $ C3.4 million debt-load. Prexy Ronald A. Weinberg says the share offer will help ease the cash-flow difficulties caused by CINAR’s rapid growth in recent years.

“We realized that if we continued to increase the volume of production, we needed a mechanism to provide financial resources,” said Weinberg, adding that some of the money will be used to “acquire libraries of films and television programs that might include rights to produce new shows.”

CINAR, which produces and distributes animated and live-action TV programming , had revenues of $ C18.8 million and net profit of $ C1.2 million last year. In the first six months of this fiscal year, the company has already generated revenues of $ C10.3 million.

Founded in 1976 primarily as a distributor, production now accounts for 86% of CINAR’s business. Its highest-profile project right now is “The Busy World of Richard Scarry,” an animated TV series produced in collaboration with Paramount, which owns the rights to the work of Scarry, a bestselling children’s author.

Series will be broadcast early next year on Showtime in the U.S., the BBC in Great Britain, France 2, and Canada’s Family Channel. CINAR will present the first episode at Mipcom.

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