Macquarie Film Corporation (MFC) launched its second prospectus this week in a bid to entice Australian investors to tip A$18.4m into film and TV production before the deadline of June 21. MFC is one of two Film Licensed Investment Companies (FLICS) awarded licences by the Australian government to raise up to A$20m in concessional capital to boost local film and TV.
The prospectus is considerably more slick than its first and contains much more detail about the industry and the business strategy to be employed. Last year's response to both FLIC offers was disappointing, but both companies had less preparation time and investors were discouraged by comments from the Australian Tax Office which were actually aimed at other film schemes.
This year investors will be lured by MFC's new minimum investment which has dropped from A$500,000 to only A$5,000. In addition, MFC has gained industry kudos as three industry practitioners - Greg Coote, Glen Kinging and Andrew Mason, whose producing credits include The Matrix - have replaced the two banking executives previously on Macquarie's board.
MFC chief executive Bryan Lowe is bullish about raising the full A$18.4m because investors are aware they can take advantage of a 100% tax deduction, and have become more receptive to media investments. The growth of offshore production has also alerted the financial community to Australia's competitive advantages, which should be just as applicable to local production.
"An investor loading up on media stocks would be crazy not to get into the business of making the material that is going to be run on those media stocks," Mason said. Mason added that he expects to spread the funds over 10-20 projects, only after distributors or sales agents become attached. About 200 projects have already been submitted.