Premier Exhibitions has confirmed it has received multiple letters of intent to be a stalking horse bidder for its assets which include the Titanic artifact collection. Both the company and the equity security holders committee will assess the bidders qualifications and announce on 25 September 2017 who the stalking horse bidder will be. An auction, if needed, will occur by 30 November 2017 and other bidders will be able to bid at that time.
Source: Premier Exhibitions Titanic Artifact Bidders Confirmed (bankruptcompanynews,26 Jul 2017)
August is nearly here and summer is in full bloom. Titanic news has been quiet. There are still news stories out there about the Premiere Exhibitions bankruptcy and the possible sale of Titanic artifacts. Analysts hope Premier is able to get out of the hole it is in. Ditto for the shareholders who are hoping that at long last perhaps the company will get back on track.
Of course the debate raging in some circles is over Titanic artifacts. Premier has a difficult time trying to sell them before as the salvage award restricts their sale and it comes with restrictions for the buyer. James Cameron is diving into the fray trying to raise money to buy them. The best outcome might be for some government or government backed entity to buy them. The huge price tag keeps most museums and institutions from really pursuing the matter. Of course all bets would be off should Premier decide to liquidate rather than reorganize. And no one is talking about that right now.
The International Ice Patrol has for a long time depended upon planes to spot and help track icebergs. Their work is very important for everyone who transits across the North Atlantic. And thanks to their work, the threat of icebergs to ships has been greatly reduced. Now they are making changes. Instead of flying planes as much, the Ice Patrol is implementing the use of satellite technology to detect and monitor icebergs. The problem though is that satellite images only detect icebergs only 50% of the time compared to using planes. For the moment a combination of planes and satellite images are going to be used to monitor icebergs. (Keeping an Eye on What the Arctic Throws Down Iceberg Alley,newsdeeply.com,21 July 2017)
Molly Brown was one of the people that became well known after Titanic sank. Her 150th birthday was recently celebrated at her home in Denver, Colorado. As befitting her style, it was celebrated as a block party. Food, entertainment and tours of her home (now a museum) were done. She was quite a gal.
Plaque To Commemorate Hatfield Man Who Died On Titanic(Welwyn Hatfield Times,15 Jul 2017) The council’s Blue Plaque Scheme aims to promote the recognition and awareness of people, places and events which have been of lasting significance to Hatfield. Town council leader Lenny Brandon said: “I’m extremely pleased to introduce this exciting new initiative to Hatfield.” It is hoped that Joseph’s official plaque will be unveiled in the town later this year.Further details about the scheme can be found on the council’s website www.hatfield-herts.gov.uk
£28 Million Titanic Hotel Unveiled(Irish Times,5 Jul 2017) Harcourt Developments is behind the 119-bedroom Titanic Hotel Belfast in the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices, where the plans for the Titanic itself were dreamt up in the 1890s. It will be the eighth hotel in the multi-million pound company’s portfolio, sitting alongside a collection of properties in locations from Liverpool to the Caribbean. Harcourt – who’ve been front and centre of the Titanic Quarter regeneration over the last decade – flung open the showpiece hotel’s doors to the media ahead of letting its first overnight visitors (rooms start at £160 a night) get their heads down from September 10.
Former Titanic Drawing Rooms Restored(BBC News, 4 Jul 2017) A £5m renovation project has restored the historic drawing offices at Belfast shipyard where plans for the Titanic were made. The two arched rooms were at the heart of the old Harland and Wolff headquarters building.
Thousands Of Titanic Artefacts To Be Sold After Owner Goes Bankrupt (antiquestradegazette.com,4 Jul 2017) Experts predict it is unlikely the court will allow a public auction and instead the items will have to be sold to an institution. However, if they were to come to auction it is likely UK auction firm Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, which holds regular Titanic memorabilia auctions, would be among the auctioneers considered for the job.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Opens at the Prestigious Guangdong Museum in Guangzhou, China (Premier Exhibitions, 3 Jul 2017)) Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (OTCQB:PRXIQ), announced today the opening of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Guangdong Museum in Guangzhou, China. This remarkable 20,000 square foot exhibition, is one of the largest in the Company’s history, with more than 300 artifacts and brand-new room re-creations. This is the first time the Company has presented Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in a Tier 1 museum in China. The exhibition opening was made possible through the generous support, assistance and presence of the Minister of State Administration of Cultural Heritage and representatives of the Department of Culture of Guangdong Province.
The story thus far: Premier Exhibitions, which owns RMS Titanic Inc, has filed for bankruptcy. A decision has been reached to sell the Titanic collection (the artifacts and intellectual property). One problem is the Titanic salvage award limits how those artifacts can be sold: as one collection. Past attempts to sell have failed because the price is too high. And now our story resumes….
Could a famous Hollywood director put together the money needed to buy the collection? The U.K. Daily Mail reports that James Cameron has begun a “secret” rescue mission to bring the Titanic artifacts to the U.K. He has apparently teamed up with Robert Ballard, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and the Royal Geographical Society to accomplish this. The figure being reported is £165 million.
Details of this “secret” mission were revealed at a court hearing last week by Ballard. Of course nothing is final and it is the very early stages. I doubt they will be the only party that will be interested. The Chinese would like to add it to their theme park and have money to spend as well. And there are investors in Dubai who also would not mind having the Titanic collection there as well that will draw in tourists. ave Vermillion, spokesman for RMS Titanic Inc, confirmed they have interest from all over the world.
Hopefully this time they will actually sell it to someone who will properly conserve it. The bidding war, if that is what it becomes, ought to be fascinating.
Premier Exhibitions has filed monthly operating reports from 1 Dec 2016-20 Dec 2016 with the Bankruptcy Court and with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC). Due to being in bankruptcy, the usual reporting to SEC has been suspended for Forms 10-K and 10-Q. Copies of the monthly operating reports submitted to the Bankruptcy Court will be reported to the SEC in Form 8-K
1. Premier Exhibitions Asks Court For More Time To File Reorganization Plan (Bankruptcy Court News, 3 Oct 2016)
Premier Exhibitions has petitioned the court to allow it to extend the period to file a reorganization plan under Chapter 11 to 17 Jan 2017. “Under the circumstances of these cases, a premature termination of exclusivity would deny the Debtors a meaningful opportunity to negotiate and propose a confirmable plan and would be antithetical to the paramount objectives of Chapter 11. Termination of exclusivity at this point in time could have the undesirable effect of encouraging the development of competing multiple plans that could lead to unwarranted confrontations, litigation, and administrative expenses.” To cut to the chase of all the fancy legal wording, it means if they do not get the extended time other plans may emerge. Which sort of hints that there might be some other plan out there they want to head off.
2. For those on the Netflix service, your long wait has ended. James Cameron’s Titanic is coming to Netflix this month. At least for those in the U.S. Of course you could purchase it and never have to worry when it shows up on one of the online streaming services.
3. It is officially Halloween season here at Titanic News Channel. Our staff is up for the occasion. The mummy has come out its sleeping chamber to render some scares to kids in the area. Our old friend Headless is planning his usual evening strolls with pumpkin in hand looking for someone’s head. A few fluttering ghosts have been seen as well. We have classic zombies (not the Romero version) wandering about as well and quite possibly Frankenstein and Count Dracula as well. The stores are well stocked with Halloween candy to the rafters. Sadly Halloween is on a Monday this year. And with all the political correctness nonsense, even saying Happy Halloween in some schools is not only discouraged but banned. All the more reason for many parents to band together, invite the little kids over, and have their own Halloween event.
1) Premier Exhibitions recently sought permission to sell items from the French Titanic collection. Since these items are outside of U.S.Federal Court , it reasoned that an expedited approval by the bankruptcy court would make the sale possible. The court turned down this request noting that under bankruptcy law that Premier Exhibitions must pursue what is called an adversary proceeding. Since the items in question were awarded by French officials, they may object to these items being put up for auction if the conditions they were awarded to the company excluded their sale. Premier must now go through a process to allow possible third parties (either the French government or other parties of interest)to object and a finding be made.
Source: Premier Exhibition Sale Denied (Bankrupt Company News, 27 Jul 2016)
Document Source: ORDER ON MOTION FOR ORDER AUTHORIZING THE DEBTORS TO MARKET AND SELL CERTAIN TITANIC ARTIFACTS FREE AND CLEAR OF LIENS, CLAIMS, AND INTERESTS (In re: Premier Exhibitions, et el. U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District Florida, Jacksonville Division, 22 Jul 2016)
2. Perhaps in light of the bankruptcy filing (and increased pressure to show records to demonstrate exactly what is going on inside Premier), the company recently announced some changes. The new CEO is Jerome Henshall,the current chairman of the Audit Committee who replaces Michael Little who has been let go (or the better British word sacked). Mingcheng Tao has resigned from the Board of Directors and two new “independent” directors–Mark Bains and Guo Ding–have been appointed to the Board of Directors. Bains qualification is that he is the Chief Executive Officer of MJB Technology Solutions Ltd. Guo Ding qualifications are his “extensive experience as a political, cultural, and media correspondent for various national and international news agencies. He has appeared on television, print, and radio in Canada, China, US, and Hong Kong among many other countries. He has also authored several books published in both Chinese and English. Mr. Ding holds a Master of Arts from Rikyo University (Tokyo, Japan) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Shanghai Normal University.” So if I get it right they have put a respected commentator of Chinese affairs on the board of directors. I get the independent part but has he ever run a business?
Source:Premier Exhibitions Inc. Announces Corporate Update (Globe Newswire Press Release,27 July 2016)
The U.S. Trustee has filed an objection to Premier’s motion to sell artifacts from the French Collection. “The Sale Motion should be denied because it is not noticed to all required parties, does not include a description of sale procedures, does not describe the property to be sold, and, at least at this early stage in the case, does not meet the standard.”
Before the news broke about the bankruptcy filing, the stock was trading at 51¢ but at the close of trading yesterday fell 27% to land finally at 37¢. The value of the stock is getting slimmer by the day.
Premier Exhibitions, the owner of RMS Titanic Inc and operates many touring exhibitions that includes Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company states in its press release:
Despite aggressive efforts to manage these issues, the burden of the
Company’s lease in New York City and other legacy business issues remain obstacles to the Company’s ability to conduct business. Faced with these obstacles and upcoming lease payments due, the company has
determined that it would be in the best interest of its stakeholders to
file for reorganization relief under Chapter 11. Operating under the
protection of Chapter 11 will provide the company’s most important
vendors with assurances that they will be paid. Further, the company
intends to create a restructuring plan that should allow Premier to
emerge as a stronger business. Further, as part of its restructuring
efforts, the company will continue to assess the productivity of all
assets, review additional cost-cutting initiatives and explore strategic
alternatives to maximize the value of the business.
Well this is both good and bad news for shareholders. Shareholders have seen the value of their shares fall (and suffered a double bounce as well)considerably. But the voluntary move to reorganize the company in bankruptcy court means it can reduce the liabilities causing it considerable problems. It also means they must open their books up for the court to examine (which will use independent auditors)to determine what the assets and liabilities are. Secured creditors will get paid but how much will be determined by the court.
Of course there is one big asset namely the Titanic Artifact Collection. And the bankruptcy court will now be handling its disposition. Interesting to see how that plays out down the road.