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EFA Partners Advises Emagine Entertainment for Arranging New Capital to Refinance Debt and for Growth

November 1, 2022

New York, NY (November 1, 2022) – EFA Partners, a financial advisory firm that arranges capital and provides strategic consulting services for entertainment and media companies, announced that it arranged financing for Emagine Entertainment, an owner/operator of luxury movie theaters in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Emagine operates a total of 28 theaters with over 340 screens and is ranked as the 9th largest theater circuit in North America according to the 2022 Giants of Exhibition report from Box Office Pro. The financing arranged by EFA refinanced all existing senior debt and also provided additional funding for new growth opportunities.

Emagine was co-founded by Paul Glantz in 1997 with the opening of its theater in Birch Run, Michigan and has since continued to grow its portfolio. All Emagine theaters offer adult patrons the option of enjoying their favorite cocktail, beer or wine while concurrently maintaining a welcoming environment for families. Emagine’s leadership team is dedicated to maintaining the highest standard of customer service and providing their guests with the best possible movie-going experience.

The company is a recognized innovator in the theater industry. Emagine was the first U.S. theater circuit to convert to 100% digital projection. Its Birch Run theater was the first in Michigan to have all stadium seating and Emagine was the first to introduce 4K projection to the Detroit market. In 2022, it continued as an innovative leader by partnering with Caesars Entertainment to create the Caesars Sportsbook Lounge Powered by Emagine. 

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Emagine team for many years,” said Ralph Willis, Managing Partner and founding principal of EFA Partners. “The company operates a luxury, state-of-the-art theater circuit that delivers an exceptional experience for its loyal patrons. The new debt facility positions Emagine for continued growth as the company expands its platform of theaters."

EFA’s principals have over 70 years of collective experience in providing financing solutions for entertainment, media, and technology companies. They have deep relationships with banks, equipment lessors, construction lenders, specialty finance lenders, REITs, and private equity groups. The team prides itself on handling its clients’ financing processes from start to finish. For Emagine, EFA approached a targeted list of prospective financiers, completed comprehensive materials to highlight the attractiveness of Emagine’s theaters, created additional materials with significant current and historical data to highlight the ongoing rebound of the film exhibition industry, introduced several financial groups to the Emagine team, procured competing proposals, and assisted throughout the closing process.

“It has been such a pleasure working with Ralph and the EFA team as our trusted financial advisors for the past several years and we look forward to continuing the relationship,” said Paul Glantz, Chairman of Emagine. “They stuck with us through the pandemic and then, as the lending environment became more favorable this year, they used their defined process to highlight the attractiveness of our business for several lenders. This culminated in closing a financing that not only refinanced our debt with very favorable terms but also provided additional capital to assist with growing our business as we seek to strategically add theaters to our circuit.”

About EFA Partners

EFA Partners is a boutique financial advisory firm with offices in New York and Atlanta focused on the entertainment, media, and technology companies. It provides investment banking services focused on arranging growth capital, mergers and acquisitions, and financial consulting. In entertainment, its targeted sectors include movie theaters, family entertainment centers, theme parks, water parks, concert venues, hotels, casinos, observation wheels, sports, and others. In media and technology, EFA focuses on companies in film/television post-production, film/television distribution, communications services, SaaS, recorded music, music publishing, and others. Since its inception in 2009, EFA has been retained by over 190 clients, has arranged over $1.6 billion of capital, and has advised on over $3.6 billion of additional capital. 

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 and working capital facility.

start quoteWe selected EFA as our advisor due to their financial experience specific to the film and television services sector. The past year has been tremendous for us as we significantly grew our business with EFA arranging financing that allowed us to execute on our growth plans very quicklyend quote

John Suh
Co-Founder and Co-President of  Pixelogic

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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 300 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 three financings that recapitalized the company and provided growth for new theatres. Studio Movie Grill also retained EFA for M&A opportunities and to assist with restructuring process.

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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Provider of digital information services to the film industry

Background: Company approached EFA seeking funding to refinance debt and provide growth capital.

EFA Process: After reviewing its capital structure and growth plans, EFA approached the specialty lender market and arranged debt facility. Subsequently, company retained EFA as sell-side advisor. 

Result: Arranged debt for refinaning existing debt and for growth. Also, handled sale process from start to close for successful sale of business.

start quoteIt was a pleasure to work with the team at EFA Partners who served as our advisor on the sale of West World Media. Through deep industry knowledge, relationships and marketplace expertise, we were able to achieve a successful outcome. end quote

Brett West
Founder and President of West World Media

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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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