Village Roadshow's $51 million capital raising to aid recovery from Dreamworld disaster

Village Roadshow's $51 million capital raising to aid recovery from Dreamworld disaster

It's been a big few weeks for Australian entertainment company Village Roadshow (ASX: VRL).

The company, behind some of Australia's biggest theme parks, cinemas, and bowling alleys, announced on Thursday morning the completion of the institutional component of its entitlement offer.

The institutional component raised gross proceeds of approximately $35.7 million, including $20.9 million from VRC shareholders.

Eligible institutional investors took up approximately 96 per cent of entitlements during the institutional component.

The retail component of the raise is set to open on Tuesday 17 July 2018 where the company expects to raise an additional $15.7 million.

Village Roadshow co-chairman Graham Burke says he is pleased with the outcome of the institutional component of the raise.

"We are pleased with the strong support shown by VRL's shareholders and other institutional investors for the equity raising," says Burke.

"We now look forward to completing the Retail Entitlement Offer for the benefit of VRL's shareholders."

The news of Village Roadshow's successful raise follows a string of bad news for the company, which was impacted negatively following the tragic deaths of four at rival theme park Dreamworld.

On Tuesday, the company was forced to write down the value of its Gold Coast tourism assets by $95 million.

The writedown is part of $166 million in total impairments to be included in the FY18 financial results, with $25 million of that attributed to the $40 million sale of Wet 'n' Wild Sydney announced last week.

Village Roadshow has revealed that $74 million of the writedown total stems from last year's $100 million leaseback arrangement with LGIAsuper for its Movie World site on the Gold Coast. An additional $21 million is attributed to lower earnings from its Gold Coast theme park portfolio. 

Meanwhile, it says the theme park business has actually experienced a rise in one-day pass sales since the beginning of this year, although at a lower premium due to deep discounting in the market.

The company believes overall ticket revenue will continue to rise despite the removal of discount resellers from the market at the end of June.

Village Roadshow is hopeful of an improved performance in FY19, driven by operating efficiencies in the theme park division and higher than expected forward bookings from its new Topgolf joint venture on the Gold Coast.

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