BKN, ToonMax TV ink for prod’n venture

Company seeks to raise $10 mil

BERLIN — Teutonic toon company BKN Intl. wants to raise E8 million ($10 million) via a capital increase to finance a new production joint venture with Chinese animation channel ToonMax TV and back two series in production.

BKN said Wednesday it planned to offer 1.5 million new shares priced at e5.53 ($6.98) in an institutional placement rather than a public offering. Company hopes to reap some $10 million after expenses.

BKN’s 10-year joint venture with Shanghai-based ToonMax TV, announced in April, includes co-producing at least 26 episodes a year. ToonMax also will license at least 26 episodes a year from BKN’s catalogue of animated series.

BKN holds an option to acquire equity shares of ToonMax TV if and when Chinese law allows foreign investment in local media companies or when ToonMax TV files for an IPO, whichever comes earliest.

Allen Bohbot, BKN’s chairman and CEO, said BKN wanted to establish itself in China “ahead of our major Western competitors. China is the only market with such vast potential and limited competition from the major global kids’ broadcasters.”

ToonMax TV will license and air BKN’s animated chopsocky skein “Legend of the Dragon,” about twin siblings who become mortal enemies, in September. BKN will follow up with the launch of the series on DVD and related merchandising in China.

“Legend of the Dragon” will air on Teutonic tyke web Super RTL later this year.

BKN also will use its capital increase to finance two series in production, “Shanghai Tiger” and “Triple Threat From Outer Space,” which will be sold internationally.

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