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EFA Partners Advises Cinedigm Digital Cinema on $100 million Financing

October 26, 2011

NEW YORK/ATLANTA/WOODLAND HILLS (October 26, 2011) -- EFA Partners, an entertainment financial advisory firm focused on providing financing solutions for the film exhibition industry, announced that it advised on the recently closed $100 million financing facility sponsored by Cinedigm Digital Cinema, the global leader in digital cinema. 

A portion of the proceeds from this facility will be immediately utilized to deploy approximately 1,000 digital systems for various theatre groups throughout the U.S. including Marcus Theatres, Muller Family Theatres, Storyteller Theatres and Dickinson Theatres, with additional theatres in the pipeline for future deployment.

"We’ve worked with EFA for over two years as they’ve assisted us in a variety of financial advisory roles,” said Adam Mizel Chief Operating Officer & CFO of Cinedigm.  “We’ve been consistently impressed with their strong financial expertise, banking relationships and knowledge of the film exhibition sector.”

EFA’s principals have over 20 years of collective experience in film exhibition finance and have deep relationships within the banking communities.  This allowed them to assist Cinedigm with structuring the transaction and with negotiating the facility’s documents. In addition, the EFA team was instrumental in introducing Cinedigm to an industry lender that ultimately became one of the facility’s co-lead lenders.

“We are extremely pleased to continue our relationship with Cinedigm as they build their digital cinema platform,” said Ralph Willis, one of EFA Partners’ founders.  “We look forward to continuing the relationship as they deploy digital systems throughout the U.S and this financing facility will help them execute on their growth objectives.”

ABOUT EFA PARTERS

EFA Partners is a specialized advisory and financial consulting firm focused on providing services in select entertainment industries including the film and leisure 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 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 website at www.efapartners.com.

ABOUT CINEDIGM

Cinedigm offers a new business model to exhibitors by enabling theatres to present engaging alternative programming including live 2D and 3D sporting events and concerts, shorts, cartoons, live Q&As, as well as branded entertainment. Recent releases by Cinedigm include the groundbreaking, LIVE 3D broadcast of The Foo Fighters performance, the worldwide LIVE 3D broadcast of the FIFA World Cup Championship, the BCS Championship in LIVE 3D, the Dave Matthews Band 3D concerts, and the sold out 3D PHISH concerts. Cinedigm has also released the KIDTOONS series for the past six years, a weekly family friendly matinee series that runs in over 165 theatres across the country. Cinedigm also provides a number of powerful software applications that enable exhibitors to enhance and streamline their daily operations. Additionally, Cinedigm offers precision marketing tools to dramatically increase exhibitor marketing effectiveness, including social media initiatives, targeted advertising and strategic public relations. Cinedigm™ and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp™ are trademarks of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. For additional information, visit Cinedigm’s website at www.cinedigm.com.

Big Al’s is a growing Washington-based company formed in 2006 that develops and operates upscale, state-of-the-art, family-friendly, restaurant/entertainment venues throughout the Northwest

Background: Big Al’s engaged EFA to assist with a $7 million financing needed for additional equipment to help grow the company. EFA reviewed the company’s situation and advised Big Al’s to consider a larger financing to unlock the equity value in certain assets.

EFA Process: EFA went to market exploring both options and closed on a $26 million transaction that EFA recommended to the company. EFA was able to procure and negotiate several financing proposals and led the closing effort. EFA continues to help Big Al’s as it works to grow its business by opening more venues.

Result: Maximized the asset value and locked in attractive rates for the current economic environment.

start quoteIt has been a pleasure working with Kenny Favre and the team at EFA as they understand the leisure industry and have deep relationships with industry financiers. EFA analyzed our current financial situation and growth plans, and then recommended and executed on a financing structure that we hadn’t previously considered.end quote

Daniel Kirkwood,
Founder and CEO of Big Al’s

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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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