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EFA Partners Arranges Financing for Apex Parks Group

May 15, 2015

Transaction Supports Apex’s Strategic Acquisition of an Indoor/Outdoor Water Park Facility

EFA Partners, a boutique financial advisory firm focused on arranging capital and providing investment banking and strategic consulting services for entertainment, media and technology companies, successfully arranged a real estate financing for Apex Parks Group (“Apex”).

Apex is a privately held operating company based in Aliso Viejo, California. It was founded in 2014 when the company acquired fourteen family entertainment centers in multiple states, and the Big Kahuna’s water park in Destin, Florida. The company’s goal is to continue to acquire similar family entertainment venues and through investment in people, products, and efficient processes, grow the profitability of each park while maintaining its core values of safety, guest satisfaction, and employee teamwork.

“It has been a pleasure working with Al Weber and the Apex team who have extensive experience and a proven long-term track record of innovation and success in the amusement and family entertainment business,” stated Ralph Willis, Managing Partner and founding principal of EFA Partners. “We look forward to continuing the relationship as they expand their platform of leisure venues.”

As part of the financing process, EFA completed a comprehensive transaction presentation, procured several competing bids, and negotiated key terms of proposals as well as closing documentation. This resulted in Apex being able to secure a financing with excellent terms that allowed it to complete its acquisition in a cost effective manner.

About EFA Partners

EFA Partners is a boutique financial advisory firm that provides investment banking services focused on arranging capital, M&A, and financial consulting services for entertainment, media, and technology companies. Its senior team has closed and managed over $14.5 billion of financing in its targeted sectors. EFA has a wealth of relationships from which to source capital including local and regional banks, national and international banks, specialty finance groups, equipment financiers, providers of mezzanine debt and private equity groups. Since its formation in 2009, EFA has been retained by over 90 clients and placed over $800 million of capital as well as advised on over $1.2 billion of additional transactions.

About Apex Parks Group

Apex is a privately held company based in Aliso Viejo, California with thirteen family entertainment centers, and two water parks located in California, Texas, Florida, and New Jersey. Apex is currently one of the largest owners of family entertainment centers in the U.S. Apex was founded in 2014 to acquire and operate best-in-class out-of-home entertainment assets and is committed to excellence, to the communities it serves, and to delivering value that exceeds expectation. For more information, please visit www.apexparksgroup.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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