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Paragon Entertainment will become the first major player in Canada’s film and television production community to become a publicly traded commodity.

Prexy Richard Borchiver says the move is part of the firm’s plan to position itself as a key player in the 300-channel universe.

About $ C3.5 million ($ 2.8 million) has already been raised with a public offering of 2 million shares priced at $ C1.75 ($ 1.40) per share.

20% to public

Public stake will be 20%. Borchiver, along with chairman Jon Slan — who founded the company in 1985 — will retain a combined interest of approximately 35%.

The remaining 35% stake will also remain with existing private investors, including Syd Cooper, topper of investment firm Toril Holdings, Senator Jerry Grafstein, as well as Joseph Rotman, chairman of Clairvest Group Inc.

Borchiver says the majority of funds raised through the public offering will be used as working capital to fuel the 42 projects currently in development.

Paragon plans to unveil its 1993 production slate later this month.