Readying itself for a raft of acquisitions, German distributor, producer and licensor Advanced Medien is to raise more than $34m (euros37m) through a rights issue.

The company said that it will issue 3.325 million new shares, raising its capital base by a quarter. The exact price will be determined during the probable subscription period (May 15-29), but the prospects of expansion and confirmation of good figures for the first quarter sent Advanced's shares soaring 22% today, from euros11.40 to euros13.95. At these prices it will raise euros37.1m-euros45.4m. Existing shareholders will be able to buy one new share for every four they currently hold.

The company said that the capital will be used to expand its presence in the international markets through acquisitions of businesses and companies and hinted that it may sign off on one deal later this week.

Advanced CEO Christophe Montague said today: "We have wisely invested the capital we raised during our IPO and added attractive new films to our library. In addition, we have entered into long-term collaborations with renowned film production companies which have already begun to show a positive effect on our sales figures. We are currently working hard on establishing further co-operations, especially with international partners."

Advanced today unveiled three month figures showing sales up by 350% to DM12.3m and earnings before interest and tax up 300% to DM2.5m.

In 1999 revenues climbed from $7.74m (DM15.8m) in 1998 to $32.2m (DM65.7m) last year, some $1.3m (DM2.7m) more than previously forecast. Operating profits reached $2.85m (DM5.82m) compared with $403,000 (DM823,000) last year and a forecast of $2.45m (DM5m).

Advanced recently unveiled a co-financing pact with MGM for the film Ghost World and said that it is in talks with other studios on similar deals. It already has a co-financing deal with US producer Chuck Gordon and the UK's Granada Film.