Waddell & Reed Completes $443 Million Equity Investment in Legendary Entertainment
Burbank, CA, December 18, 2012 – 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 ofbank financing led by JPMorgan, Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada and UBS. Goldman Sachs also participated in that round.
About Waddell & Reed
Waddell & Reed, Inc., founded in 1937, is one of the oldest mutual fund complexes in the United States, having introduced the Waddell & Reed Advisors Group of Mutual Funds in 1940. Today, Waddell & Reed distributes its investment products through the Waddell & Reed Advisors channel (national network of financial advisors), the Wholesale channel (encompassing broker/dealer, retirement, and registered investment advisors), and its Institutional channel (including defined benefit plans, pension plans and endowments, and a subadvisory partnership with Mackenzie in Canada).
Through its subsidiaries, Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. provides investment management and financial planning services to clients throughout the United States. Waddell & Reed Investment Management Company serves as investment advisor to the Waddell & Reed Advisors Group of Mutual Funds, Ivy Funds Variable Insurance Portfolios and InvestEd Portfolios, while Ivy Investment Management Company serves as investment advisor to Ivy Funds. Waddell & Reed, Inc. serves as principal underwriter and distributor to the Waddell & Reed Advisors Group of Mutual Funds, Ivy Funds Variable Insurance Portfolios and InvestEd Portfolios, while Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc. serves as principal underwriter and distributor to Ivy Funds.
About Legendary Entertainment
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic. Earlier this year Legendary completed an acquisition of Nerdist Industries, the leading pop culture multimedia company. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world’s most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $7.2 billion worldwide at the box office. Highlights from Legendary’s slate include the Jackie Robinson biopic 42; PACIFIC RIM directed by Guillermo del Toro; SEVENTH SON, directed by Sergei Bodrov; WARCRAFT; GODZILLA, based on Toho Company’s famed character; Warren Ellis’ GRAVEL; and MASS EFFECT, based on Electronic Arts’ and BioWare’s hit videogame franchise. Legendary recently announced it will produce Guillermo del Toro’s next feature film, CRIMSON PEAK. Upcoming Legendary releases with partner Warner Bros. include THE HANGOVER PART 3, MAN OF STEEL, JACK THE GIANT SLAYER and 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. Previous successful Legendary and Warner Bros. releases include the critically acclaimed INCEPTION, which has been a box office smash grossing more than $823 million worldwide, as well as the global blockbusters THE DARK KNIGHT RISES ($1.1 billion worldwide) and THE DARK KNIGHT ($1 billion worldwide), THE HANGOVER, PARTS I AND II (over $1 billion worldwide total), CLASH OF THE TITANS ($493 million worldwide), and 300 ($456 million worldwide).