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Amusement Management Partners Selects EFA Partners as its Financial Advisor

May 19, 2011

JACKSONVILLE / NEW YORK / ATLANTA (May 19, 2011) – Amusement Management Partners (AMP), a leading operator of theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers chaired by former ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not’ CEO Bob Masterson, announced that it has selected as its exclusive financial advisor, EFA Partners (EFA), an entertainment financial advisory firm comprised of three former executives of GE Capital’s entertainment group. EFA will assist with all financial aspects of AMP’s current properties as well as leading the capital raising effort for AMP to achieve its growth goals.

 

AMP is led by well-respected industry executives that collectively have over 100 years of experience in the leisure sector having owned and operated numerous properties throughout the U.S. and internationally. During the past few months, AMP has been proudly selected to operate nine properties across the U.S. including Magic Springs and Crystal Falls theme park/waterpark plus eight FECs including four Zuma Fun Centers, Mountasia Family Fun Center, Fiddlesticks Fun Center, Funtasticks Fun Center and Camelot Park. The company intends to grow its base of properties via the acquisition or management of selective sites that should be available in the current market.
“We feel there will be many attractive opportunities to grow our business during the upcoming months as various industry players seek to divest their properties or seek seasoned management teams”, stated AMP’s Chairman, Bob Masterson. “EFA’s many years of financial experience working with numerous theme parks and FECs, plus its extensive financial relationships, will help position us as we pursue our growth goals,”

The principals of EFA formed the firm in early 2009 to solely focus on providing financial solutions for select entertainment sectors. With the team’s extensive relationships in the financial community, EFA has been retained by many entertainment firms to assist with raising senior debt, equipment financing and junior capital as well as to provide financial guidance in an interim CFO capacity. Each of the principals of EFA have been involved in the theme park and FEC sector for over ten years having closed and managed over $500 million of transactions in those industries in the U.S. and internationally.

“We are extremely pleased to be selected by AMP and are looking forward to helping their world-class management team execute on their business objectives”, says EFA co-founder, Ralph Willis. “AMP has already made tremendous progress and we’ll help position them as they selectively acquire and manage additional entertainment attractions as those opportunities arise.”

ABOUT AMUSEMENT MANAGEMENT PARTNERS:

AMP has over 100 years of combined experience in developing, overseeing and operating world-class themeparks and waterparks, family entertainment centers, attractions, hotels and other leisure projects. AMP is committed to an attractions centric operating environment, where the attraction’s quality and ability to serve guests an exceptional experience begins with the local management team and employees. This approach allows each attraction to focus on operating the business in the most innovative, efficient and effective manner possible. AMP’s offices are located in Jacksonville. For more information about AMP, visit www.ampfun.com.

ABOUT EFA PARTNERS:

EFA Partners is a specialized advisory and financial consulting firm focused on providing services in select entertainment sectors. EFA was founded by Ralph Willis, Brandt Gully and Kenny Favre, three former executives of GE Capital’s entertainment group, who collectively have over 40 years of entertainment finance experience and have closed and/or managed more than $3 billion in entertainment transactions. The group’s focus is to lead its clients’ efforts with raising senior debt, equipment leasing, junior capital, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and general business strategy. EFA’s offices are located in New York and Atlanta. For additional information, visit EFA’s web site at www.efapartners.com.

Leading provider of digital media services for film and television

Background: Seasoned management team formed new film and television digital media services company and approached EFA to arrange financing for potential acquisition targets.

EFA Process: The company retained EFA to arrange acquisition financing and EFA approached several banks and specialty lenders.

Result: Closed debt financing to support two company acquisitions

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Television broadcast company owning and operating WGGB-TV and WGGB-TV D2, the ABC and FOX network affiliates serving the Springfield-Holyoke, MA market

Background: Initially approached by Gormally Broadcasting to arrange financing to recapitalize the company and fund planned acquisition growth. EFA became company’s sell-side advisor when industry changes and market forces made exploring a sale a more advantageous and financially rewarding strategic option for the company.

EFA Process: EFA was successful in securing financing commitments to fund a recapitalization and several acquisitions during the initial engagement focus. However, marketplace dynamics noted above resulted in EFA recommending a company sale. EFA provided a tailored, results-oriented approach from start to finish.

Result: EFA identified Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) as the leading buyer and managed all aspects of the sale, maximizing the sales price received for the company.

start quoteIt was a pleasure working with Dave Harrington and the team at EFA. Through Dave’s deep industry knowledge, relationships and marketplace expertise, we were able to maximize the ultimate value of our company’s broadcast assets. end quote

John Gormally,
Founder, Owner and President of Gormally Broadcasting

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Growing movie theatre company that provides an in-theatre dining experience with over 100 screens throughout the US

Background: Longtime client that initially approached EFA seeking junior capital to grow its business.

EFA Process: After reviewing the company's capital structure and growth plans EFA recommended a financing structure that would recapitalize the company and provide significant growth capital.

Result: Closed two financings that recapitalized the company and provided growth for new theatres. Studio Movie Grill remains an EFA client for M&A opportunities.

start quoteWe were delighted to work with the EFA Partners team on our second successful financing with them. Their wide range of capital markets experience, banking relationships and deep knowledge of the cinema and location-based entertainment industries made them the perfect choice to assist with our financing efforts, which support SMG's active growth strategy. end quote

Brian Schultz,
Owner, founder and President of Studio Movie Grill

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Television and motion picture post-production and digital content management services

Background: Company approached EFA seeking refinancing of its debt subsequent to other advisors attempting to do so with a combination of senior debt and equity.

EFA Process: After reviewing its capital structure EFA recommended a debt structure to fully refinance the company's debt.

Result: Closed senior debt facility that refinanced the company's existing debt, which was much more cost-effective than equity.

start quoteThe EFA team proposed a creative strategy to recapitalize Modern VideoFilm that met our needs in a way that was unique and different from what other financial advisory firms proposed to us. We appreciated their understanding of the entertainment industry and EFA's extensive financial relationships and we look forward to continuing our relationship. end quote

Moshe Barkat,
CEO and President of Modern VideoFilm

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Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's well established movie theatre company - with almost 300 screens located throughout the US

Background: Landmark approached EFA for an equipment financing to convert its screens from 35mm to digital projection.

EFA Process: While the company had many financing options given its strong ownership, its management was busy with business operations and retained EFA to handle the digital conversion financing process.

Result: Closed equipment financing facility utilized for all of its digital projectors. EFA led all aspects of the financing including negotiation of complex digital cinema conversion agreements.

start quoteEFA's unique knowledge and experience with film exhibition and digital cinema was extremely helpful in leading our financing process. Landmark prides itself in providing the best customer experience to its patrons and we are excited that this financing will allow us to continue that with our digital conversion. end quote

Sky Hansen,
Chief Financial Officer of Landmark Theatres

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Growing upscale restaurant entertainment company with venues that provide dining, bowling, arcades and live entertainment

Background: Company approached EFA seeking capital to refinance debt at its inaugural location in Jacksonville, FL.

EFA Process: After reviewing its capital structure and growth plans, EFA recommended a two-stage approach to provide development capital and equipment financing for new locations.

Result: Initially, closed a financing to refinance debt at its existing site and provided capital to develop two new sites. Subsequently closed an equipment financing for the new sites. Latitude 360 remains an EFA client for refinancing and M&A opportunities.

start quoteWe're excited to continue our relationship with the EFA team. They understand the location-based entertainment industry and have deep relationships with financiers as well as strategic industry participants, all of which will help us execute on our growth plans. end quote

Brent Brown,
Founder and President of Latitude 360

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Television industry management group formed to manage and operate US TV stations

Background: Huntington approached EFA seeking capital for potential television station acquisitions.

EFA Process: EFA understood that private equity firms and lenders are seeking experienced management teams to back for acquisition opportunities in the television sector.

Result: EFA has introduced the company to several private equity firms as well as senior lenders, resulting in bids for groups of television stations and the company continues to seek other opportunities, with EFA’s assistance.

start quoteWe are acutely aware of the trends that are transforming the local broadcast TV business and have recently begun to explore opportunities to acquire stations. We are very excited about the prospects for the industry and the opportunities to capitalize upon. We are also pleased to have EFA Partners as our financial advisor as their many years of media industry experience and extensive financial relationships will help us accomplish our goal of building a best-in-class station group.

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David Tynan,
CEO of Huntington Broadcast Management Group

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