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Film producer Legendary Entertainment raises $443 million

(Reuters) - Legendary Entertainment, a producer of film hits "The Dark Knight" and "The Hangover," said on Tuesday it raised about $443 million in new equity financing through investment management company Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.

The company, run by CEO Thomas Tull, will use the funding for "growth and working capital across its filmed entertainment and publishing divisions, and to build out further opportunities in the digital, merchandising and television sectors," Legendary said in a statement.

The new investment values the company at $2.5 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the financing structure. Investors will receive a stake of just under 20 percent, the source said.

Legendary, which has raised nearly $720 million in 2012, is a partner with Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros on several 2013 releases including comedy sequel "The Hangover Part III" and Superman movie "Man of Steel." Its solely-developed properties include sci-fi action movie "Pacific Rim," due in theaters in July.

(Reporting By Lisa Richwine; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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