Rodar y Rodar Taps Estratelis IPO

Production house preps English-language movie slate

MADRID — “The Orphanageproducer Rodar y Rodar has appointed financial consultancy Estratelis to advise on an initial public offering.

If put through, Rodar would list later this year on Spain’s Mercado Alternativo Bursatil (MAB), the country’s
equivalent to London’s AIM and Frankfurt’s Neuer Markt, Rodar y Rodar co-founder Joaquin Padro told Variety. The free float would be 30% to 40% of Rodar y Rodar’s shares, he added.

Rodar y Rodar is also in talks with a foreign risk capital fund with a view to the fund inking a slate-investment deal on upcoming Rodar productions.

Rodar’s exploration of strategic finance options emphasizes the opportunities and challenges faced by foreign companies as they attempt to move into full-scale English-language production.

News of Rodar’s appointment of Estratelis comes less than a month after Rodar announced at the Cannes Festival that it was teaming with Atresmedia Cine, the film arm of top Spanish media group Atresmedia, to produce $20 million sci-fi thriller “Mirage,” Rodar’s English-language debut (see Variety, May 20).

Now at second-draft screenplay, and to be directed by Oriol Paulo, whose first feature, “The Body,” was the third-highest grossing Spanish release of 2012, “Mirage” is set in parallel universes in 1980, 2000 and 2014. It turns on a mother’s battle to find her lost son.

Co-founded by Mar Targarona, Rodar is now exploring options for possible international distribution/production partners on “Mirage,” Padro said. It also announced at Cannes that Peter Safran’s The Safran Company is set to co-produce the English-language remake of “The Body,” whose Spanish-language original, which opened the Sitges Festival in October, has now been sold by DeAPlaneta Intl. to 35 territories.

Between remakes of Rodar’s other features – such as “The Orphanage” and “Julia’s Eyes,” written by Paulo, helmed by Guillem Morales and co-produced by Universal Pictures International (UPI) – Rodar now has a dozen-or-so English-language projects in various stages of development.

The risk capital fund would invest across Rodar’s first six English-language movies, Padro said.

In the battle to get these films financed, closing both top international thesping talent and international co-financing from a studio or big indie, two of the only calling cards a foreign company has are its talent and its screenplay.

Rodar’s finance plays are intended to “take us to the next level,” especially in “development and internationalization,” Padro said.

For Padro, “The only muscle that Rodar has as a producer is that it finances its own development, that and the strength and credibility of having launched the careers of directors and having a deep talent pool still to draw on.”

“Spanish cinema has talent. It now has to expand abroad and grow,” Targarona recently told Spanish financial daily “Expansion.”

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