The judge in the Premier Exhibitions bankruptcy case has approved the sale of the artifact collection to a hedge fund consortium for $19.5 million. The Equity Committee filed objections to the sale but the judge overruled them. A UK consortium attempted to raise funds to purchase the collection but withdrew after the judge ruled that potential buyers would have to raise $21.5 million to trigger an auction. Criticism of the sale process has been raised by both National Maritime Museum Greenwich (NMMG) and National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) who were part of the UK consortium.
It is unknown at this time whether the Equity Committee will appeal the judge’s decision. The artifact sale will still have to be confirmed by the Federal Court in Virginia where the salvage award was litigated.
1. Titanic treasure can be sold to hedge fund, US court rules (BBC, 22 October 2018)
2. Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (OTCMKTS:PRXIQ) Files An 8-K Regulation FD Disclosure (marketexclusive.com,23 Oct 2018)
Reuters reported yesterday that Premiere Exhibitions has found a buyer for the Titanic collection. The reported sale price is $189 million to a group that is not identified.
Artifacts recovered from the wreck of the Titanic are set to be sold for $189 million by Premier Exhibitions Inc, the company that holds the salvage rights to the doomed ocean liner. Premier’s shares jumped 18 percent on Tuesday, after it said in a regulatory filing it had signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell the artifacts for $189 million to an unnamed group of individuals. “(The buyers) are obviously a group of significant means because they have to have the resources to display and care for the artifacts and they have to be suitable for court approvals,” said Bill Vlahos, portfolio manager at hedge fund Odyssey Value Partners, which holds a stake in Premier. Premier officials said on a conference call Monday that the firm expects the deal to satisfy all of the court’s conditions.
It will interesting to learn who this group is. Three possibilities come to mind: 1)Government owned museums or an alliance of them; 2)Private group with very deep pockets that already own or control museums; 3)A company or consortium already in business and wants to keep the Titanic exhibitions alive.
Source: Reuters, Titanic Artifacts Collection To Be Sold For $189 Million, 16 Oct 2012