News Briefs

- Cinar looks to new FilmFair Shows

Cinar Films has completed its $23 million acquisition of the FilmFair library and animation production facility as well as other animation series from u.k.-based Caspian Group PLC.

The purchase price includes $15 million in cash and 272,500 Cinar class b voting shares.

Press reports have estimated an increase of $3.5 million in annual top-line revenues due to the acquisition, but Cinar vp and cfo Hasanain Panju says the real value of the purchase is being underestimated. ‘What we intend to do is look at the titles in this library (some two dozen making up 200 half-hours) and see if we can produce new shows. That will also increase the merchandising potential and further increase the revenue.’

The acquisition brings Cinar’s library to 950 half-hours.

FilmFair is a puppet and clay animation studio founded by Graham Clutterbuck in the late 1960s. The studio is best known for tv series including Paddington Bear and The Wombles. FilmFair was taken over by Central Television in the ’80s and sold to Storm Group (Caspian) in 1991.

Together with the author, Cinar is developing The Adventures of Paddington Bear, a new animated series.

-Coscient aims at $20M

Montreal’s Coscient Group has gone to market with a new class b public share offering aimed at raising $20 million in new capital.

The net proceeds will be used to pay more than $8.2 million to Astral Communications as part of the $20 million Oct. 21 purchase of Astral’s distribution and programming enterprises divisions.

Revenues for Coscient are forecast at $100 million in ’96/97 in addition to new income from Astral’s 10,000-title library, says David McFadgen, an analyst with Marleau Lemire.

‘(The new offering) is Quebec Stock Savings Plan product and from what I understand there is not a lot of (tax rebate) product out there.’

The selling price is expected to be ‘within the context of the market,’ currently in the $5 to $5.50 range, says McFadgen.

Coscient’s offering, its first since spring 1993, is being sold mainly in Quebec, although private placement minimums are available outside the province.

Levesque Beaubien Geoffrion, Capital Midland Walwyn, Scotia Capital Markets, Yorkton Securities and Marleau Lemire are the underwriters.