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Kinowelt staked with $244 mil cash boost

Coin to finance stakes in Alliance-Atlantis, Sportwelt

BERLIN — Set to fuel yet further expansion, upstart German media house Kinowelt Medien announced Friday a cash boost of DM457 million ($244 million) raised through a stock offer.

The proceeds are from a total of more than 4 million shares issued. Kinowelt says it will use the coin to finance its previously announced 26% stake in the Canadian powerhouse Alliance-Atlantis and the acquisition of the remaining 90% of the sports rights marketing agency Sportwelt, where it holds a 10% stake. Roughly half the proceeds will be left to finance other ventures.

Busy pace

Figures for the fiscal year 1999 have been adjusted upward to reflect recent dynamic business. Revenues for the year are expected to hit $219 million, up from an earlier projection of $189 million.

Operating profits are expected to reach $26 million, up 140%. The adjusted revenue projections represent a 95% increase on 1998 figures.

Kinowelt said it was expecting $374 million to flow in from a $300 million Warner Bros. deal for a package of rights to 245 films and more than 600 new series episodes secured earlier this year. Kinowelt’s shares were up $1.92 Friday to $54.

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