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Fireworks backs CanWest bid

Offer available to shareholders until June 15

TORONTO — The board of directors of Fireworks Entertainment have recommended that shareholders tender their shares to CanWest Global’s bid of 10 days ago.

CanWest Global announced in early May that it had acquired a majority equity and voting interest in the Toronto-based film and TV production, distribution and financing company headed up by former Alliance heavyweight Jay Firestone.

The recommendation, which was sent out in a directors’ circular, was based upon the findings of a special committee of independent directors of Fireworks looking into the fairness of CanWest’s offer of C$3.50 per share ($2.40 per share) to minority shareholders. CanWest’s offer will be available to shareholders until June 15.

Fireworks shoot up

Fireworks released its first quarter results late last week with consolidated revenues of $13 million, up 38% from last year’s first quarter of $9.5 million. Increased deliveries from “F/X: The Series” and a new production titled “Real Kids, Real Adventures” as well as higher library sales were responsible for the jump.

Net earnings increased to $1 million, up from $412,000, and earnings per share increased slightly to 6.2¢ cents per share from 5.5¢. Gross profit increased to $2.1 million from $1 million for the same period last year.