Telescene coins IPO

Canuck prod'n company raises $7.3 million

MONTREAL — Canadian TV production company Telescene Film Group has completed a public stock offering in the Great White North that raised C$10.9 million ($7.3 million) for the company.

Telescene issued 1.5 million units at a price of $4.88 per unit. The units consist of one class B subordinate voting share and one-half of a share purchase warrant.

Each full warrant allows the holder to acquire one additional class B subordinate voting share of Telescene at a price of $5.72 per share for a period of three years. The underwriters of the offering were Griffiths McBurney & Partners and Research Capital Corp.

Like many other Canuck entertainment stocks, Telescene’s share price has plummeted in recent months, dipping from a 52-week high of $15.31 to $4.61 on Tuesday. The drop is due to a general lack of enthusiasm from the Canadian financial sector in the entertainment biz rather than to any problems with Telescene.

In fact, Telescene has been on a major growth spurt since its initial public offering in 1997. Over the past three years, production has grown on average by 44% each year, deliveries have increased 32% annually, library sales have been upped 23% per annum and net earnings have soared 190% a year.

The new public coin will be used to help finance further growth in production volume, Telescene president Robin Spry said, adding the company’s production slate will likely top $67 million this year, up from $40 million last year.

“The offering is a product of our growth,” said Spry. “Our policy is to have 70% of the financing in place before we produce, … so there’s always a need for cash flow.”

In the works

Upcoming Telescene productions include the second season of teen sitcom “Big Wolf on Campus,” which airs on the Fox Family Channel, the second season of “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World” and the first season of “Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher.” Telescene has also completed the one-hour pilot for the Telescene and MTV co-venture “Live Through This,” a tale of a 1970s rock band and their teen offspring .

Telescene will also be shooting four more pilots for the Action Adventure Network, the joint venture to produce programming for DirecTV run by Telescene, Richmel Prods. and Goodman/Rosen Prods.

In addition, the Montreal-based producer has a pilot about a co-ed soccer team, “Hamilton Heat,” with Nickelodeon, and is preparing to shoot six telefilms in partnership with Park Entertainment of London based on two Jack Higgins novels, “The President’s Daughter” and “Angel of Death.” The Higgins pics will be 50-50 Canadian-British co-productions.

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