With a high-stakes 2013 looming in which its first slate of in-house developed films will be released, Legendary Entertainment has raised $443 million in new equity financing, the company announced Tuesday.
The deal gives asset management and financial planning giant Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. a stake of just under 20% in Legendary and values the production company at about $2.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the structure of the financing but not authorized to speak publicly. Chairman Thomas Tull retains majority control of the Burbank-based company.
The new financing comes on top of Legendary's deal in March that included $150 million of debt and $128 million of equity and the closing of a $700-million credit facility last year. Speaking at investor conferences this fall sponsored by Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, Tull added to growing speculation in Hollywood that he was looking to raise money or potentially preparing for an initial public offering.