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Inside Move: Mandalay IPO plans at bay

Companies still pursuing partnership

LONDON — Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures and Germany’s Cineartists Entertainment have called off their proposed Neuer Market IPO of the combined firms.

While confirming the IPO plans had collapsed, Mandalay chairman Guber said the companies are still pursuing a partnership and declined to comment further. The plan called for Munich-based Cineartists to pay for its stake in the venture with cash raised from the IPO, which had been set for January but was postponed due to the weakened stock markets.

The deal would have made Cineartists’ Philipp Kreuzer, Guber, Mandalay vice chairman Paul Schaeffer and prexy Adam Platnick majority shareholders in the new entity, in which Mandalay would effectively become a subsidiary. Lions Gate’s 46% stake in Mandalay would be exchanged for a stake in the new firm. Such a structure would have qualified the new firm as a German company, thereby enabling it to more easily tap into local financing.

Had the IPO gone through, Mandalay’s financing would have come from German production fund KC Medien, which was to put up $250 million to back joint projects between Cineartists and Mandalay through 2003.

Cineartists declined to comment. Lions Gate could not be reached by deadline.

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