Luc Besson's EuropaCorp made a strong entry to the Euronext today having raised $95.1m (Euros 70m) in an initial public offering.

The French mini-major sold 4.51m shares at $21 (Euros 15.5) each, the company said in a statement. Underwriters have the option until August 3 to sell 451,612 further shares to bring the total raised to $104m (Euros 77m).

At a recent press conference, Besson said Europa is looking to double its revenues in the next four years by exploiting the company's catalog and increasing the profitability of its international productions.

The flotation, Besson said, would help to attract talent and put the studio in a strong position from which to negotiate with Hollywood agents representing big stars. 'The big stars' agents work with lawyers who demand a certain financial standing when they commit. They are the ones who asked that we go public,' said Besson.

Europa plans to continue producing 8-10 films a year but with 2 or 3 of those targeted at a wide international audience and with increased budgets of between $54-81m (Euros 40-60m) as opposed to the current $27-40m (Euros 20-30m).

EuropaCorp was founded by Besson and partner Pierre-Ange Le Pogam in 1999 and recently reported a net profit of $11.4m (Euros 8.2m) for the financial year ending March 31, 2007.

Europa films which have performed well this year include Taxi 4 and the Besson-directed Arthur And The Minimoys, which has thus far earned $107m. Two sequels are set for Arthur in 2009 and 2010.

The banks handling the flotation have valued Europa at around $428m (Euros 315m) based on future growth. By 10 am today, the company's first day of trading, shares had risen $.40 (Euros.30).