Telescene sets offering

MONTREAL — Telescene Film Group, a Montreal-based TV and film production outfit, is set to make its first-ever public share offering, which will likely net the Canadian company in the neighborhood of C$25 million ($18 million).

Telescene has issued a preliminary prospectus and the company’s principal executives, including company president Robin Spry, are currently criss-crossing Canada, talking up the share issue with potential investors. The offering is expected to close June 30.

The Montreal company plans to use $8.6 million from the public offering to provide interim financing for various Telescene productions. Also, $1.4 million will be used for the acquisition of a production studio in Montreal, $720,000 for project development, $720,000 to reduce its bank debts and $360,000 for the hiring of additional staff for Telescene’s offices in New York and Los Angeles.

The offering will consist of a treasury issue of Class B subordinate voting shares, but company executives would not reveal how many shares are expected to be issued.

Telescene executives said the company’s current production slate includes seven TV productions and three feature films for a total budget this fiscal year of $41 million. Shooting has just wrapped on “The Hunger,” an erotic-horror anthology series of 22 half-hours hosted by Terence Stamp and produced by Telescene in partnership with Scott Free, Ridley and Tony Scott’s production company. The first installment of the series will have its preem on Showtime July 20 and on the Movie Network in Canada the same day.

Lensing is set to begin next week in Montreal on the new teen sitcom “Student Bodies,” which is distributed in the U.S. by Twentieth Television. The show, about a group of high-school students who create an underground comic book, will debut in syndication this fall. It will air on all the Fox owned-and-operated stations.

The underwriting group is led by Marleau, Lemire Securities and RBC Dominion Securities, with other members including Midland Walwyn Capital, Griffiths McBurney & Partners and Gordon Capital Corp.

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