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Legendary Entertainment has completed an equity financing transaction with the investment management affiliates of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE: WDR) totaling approximately $443 million in aggregate proceeds. The announcement was made today by Legendary's Chairman and CEO, Thomas Tull.
Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. is one of the oldest investment management companies in the United States and is parent company to Ivy Investment Management Company and Waddell & Reed Investment Management Company, manager to the Ivy Funds and Waddell & Reed Advisors Funds, respectively. The investment in Legendary will reside within the Ivy Asset Strategy Fund, the Waddell & Reed Advisors Asset Strategy Fund and other portfolios utilizing the same investment strategy.
Legendary plans to allocate proceeds from the transaction towards growth and working capital across its filmed entertainment and publishing divisions, and to build out further opportunities in the digital, merchandising and television sectors.
"Waddell & Reed is the gold standard in their sector, and the right capital partner for Legendary, at the right time in our business," said Tull. "We are pleased to have their support and enthusiasm for our model and potential."
Upcoming Legendary movie releases with partner Warner Bros. include THE HANGOVER PART III, MAN OF STEEL, JACK THE GIANT SLAYER, and 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. Highlights from Legendary's slate of solely developed properties include PACIFIC RIM, GODZILLA, 42, SEVENTH SON, and a film adaptation of the global entertainment phenomenon, WARCRAFT.
In 2012 alone, Legendary has closed nearly $720 million in financing. In addition to the $443 million through this month's Waddell & Reed equity financing deal, in March of this year Legendary completed equity and debt financing deals totaling approximately $275 million in aggregate proceeds. The equity component of those March transactions consisted of $128 million in new financing from a collection of new and existing investors including Jim Breyer's Accel Partners, IDG Capital Partners, and Gordy Crawford. At that time, Legendary also announced new investment from Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Peter Thiel's Thiel Capital LLC, and Eric Schmidt's Tomorrow Ventures, LLC. Legendary also closed a $150 million round of bank financing led by JPMorgan, Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada and UBS. Goldman Sachs also participated in that round.
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