Winchester aims for pounds 1.5m with share issue

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The Independent Online
WINCHESTER Multimedia is aiming to lock into the rapid growth in the audiovisual industry through a share issue on Wednesday.

The fledgling company is expected to raise about pounds 1.5m by offering 2.5 million shares at about 60p.

Because of the company's short trading record the shares will be dealt under the Stock Exchange's 535 matched bargain facility.

Winchester is the holding company for two trading subsidiaries, Winchester Entertainment and Winchester Pictures, which only started trading in the spring. Gary Smith, chairman and chief executive, said the company's objectives were to own a portfolio of entertainment-based intellectual property rights, a euphemism for copyright exploitation. The portfolio already includes feature films, animation series, television programmes and character merchandise.

Plans include developing music publishing, video, computer games, CD-I, toys, books and magazines.

One family feature film under way is Rainbow, which involves four children and their dog and a rainbow that glistens inside with gold. Winchester hopes it will lead to a fully animated cartoon series, computer games and an international licensing programme.

Winchester has also been granted the exclusive worldwide rights to the Love is . . . characters featured in newspapers worldwide. The high- risk nature of the business, however, will be highlighted on a full page in the prospectus.

Brokers to the issue are Allied Financial Securities, Birmingham.