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EFA Arranges Digital Cinema Financing for Stone Theatres

February 22, 2012

NEW YORK/ATLANTA/CHARLOTTE (February 22, 2012) -- EFA Partners, an entertainment financial advisory firm focused on providing financing solutions for movie exhibitors and other entertainment companies, announced that it led and advised the recently closed financing facility for Stone Theatres, a progressive motion pictures exhibitor operating 28 screens at 2 locations in Myrtle Beach, SC and Fayetteville, NC. The proceeds from the financing were utilized for Stone’s digital cinema conversion.

“We were very impressed with EFA as their financial experience with film exhibition and digital cinema allowed them to lead our financing effort from start to finish,” said Herman Stone, President and CEO of Stone Theatres. “The team at Stone prides itself in a long history of being innovative and providing the very best in quality to its movie patrons and our customers will see immediate benefits from this financing as we become 100% digital.”

EFA has extensive experience in meeting the financing needs of the film exhibition industry, and it continues to help exhibitors with financings ranging from senior debt to provide growth or acquisition capital, refinancing of existing loans, FF&E financings, construction or site development loans, and junior capital. EFA’s principals have over 20 years of collective experience in film exhibition finance and have deep relationships within the banking and leasing communities.  This allowed them to procure
numerous proposals for the Stone financing and provide appropriate recommendations. In addition, the EFA team assisted with the negotiation of all credit documentation as well as agreements related to digital cinema.

“We are extremely pleased to help Stone with its 100% conversion to digital,” said Brandt Gully, principal of EFA Partners. “The team at Stone has been an industry leader for decades, and we are excited to be the company’s exclusive advisory partner for its financing needs”.

 

ABOUT EFA PARTERS:


EFA Partners is a specialized advisory and financial consulting firm focused on providing financial services to the film and leisure industries. EFA’s personnel have provided financial solutions to the film exhibition industry for over ten years and continue to concentrate on the needs of theatre owners, digital cinema integrators, alternative content companies and film service companies.  The group’s services include capital placement as well as recommendations and execution of strategies related to mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and general business planning. EFA’s offices are located in New York and Atlanta. For additional information, visit EFA’s web site at www.efapartners.com.

 

ABOUT STONE THEATRES:


Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, presently operates 2 locations with 28 screens located in North and South Carolina with two additional sites now under construction in Indian Trail, NC and in the Raleigh, NC market. Prior to forming Stone Theatres, Mr. Stone was President and CEO of Consolidated Theatres headquartered in Charlotte NC. Consolidated Theatres consisted of 34 locations and over 400 screens operating along the Eastern seaboard, including Phillips Place, Park Terrace and Arboretum in Charlotte and Union Square in Monroe NC.

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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