Intermedia a billionaire after stellar IPO launch

Company made $257 million by selling 28% of its shares

CANNES — IM Internationalmedia — better known to the film world as Intermedia — became a billion-dollar company Thursday when it launched its IPO to a strong response on Frankfurt’s Neuer Markt.

The stock opened at 35 Euros ($31.50), 9% above the $28.70 issue price, and reached a buoyant $34.30 by the market close.

The offer was 13½ times oversubscribed, an indicator of strong institutional interest.

The closing price gives the company a market capitalization of $1.08 billion.

Intermedia itself netted $257 million by selling 8.97 million shares (28% of the total 31.5 million) at the issue price, which was the top of its projected range.

Merger mania

The IM Internationalmedia holding company was formed from the recent merger between Guy East and Nigel Sinclair’s Intermedia and Moritz Bormann’s Pacifica Entertainment. Bormann has a 20% stake in the company, while East and Sinclair have 12% apiece.

The company, which is based in London and L.A., reported sales of $104 million in 1999. East, Sinclair and Bormann are co-CEOs, with Florian Bollen as chairman.

Speaking from the market floor in Frankfurt, East commented, “It’s great to have a company with such a stable, well-capitalized structure, which will enable us to support our producers better, so that they can make some wonderful films to deliver to our loyal network of distributors.”