News | Press Releases
For Immediate Release
BIA Digital Partners Invests in Destination Cinema
Investment Supports Acquisition and Supports the Company's Future Growth Plans
(Chantilly, VA February 6, 2006) - BIA Digital Partners LP, an investment management firm located in Northern Virginia, announced today its investment of subordinated debt and common equity to finance the purchase of Destination Cinema Inc. (DCI) by Specialty Cinema LLC. Destination Cinema is the leading commercial operator of large-format theaters located in tourist areas throughout North America and Canada. Management of the Company will remain unchanged. Destination Cinema will continue its focus on expansion and theater operations while its partner, National Geographic, will focus on large format film production and film distribution. Destination Cinema also has an extensive theater licensing and branding agreement with National Geographic that will continue under its new ownership structure.
"This is an exciting time for DCI," said Bob Perkins, President and CEO of Destination Cinema Inc. "DCI is now focused on the growth of its destination theater portfolio both domestically and internationally. Our first priority in new business development will be to look for additional destination theater sites, both new projects and acquisitions of current stand-alone theaters. We are also talking with several existing institutional theaters about opportunities to work together to maximize their theater and ancillary revenues."
Hannah Craven, chairman of DCI added, "BIA Digital Partners' knowledge of the entertainment industry was invaluable in that it enabled them to quickly close a complex transaction. We look forward to our partnership with BIA and their co-investor Prism Mezzanine Fund. We have several projects already underway and anticipate continuing to build on DCI's theater management expertise, film content, and partnership relationships to further our leadership position in the destination theater industry."
DCI's key assets include four large format theaters at locations of historical, cultural, and geographical significance: Grand Canyon Theater, Niagara Falls Theater, San Simeon/Hearst Castle Theater, and Victoria/Royal British Columbia Museum Theater. The company owns the "anchor" films that are exhibited in each of its theaters: Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets; Niagara: Miracles, Myths, and Magic, and Hearst Castle: Building the Dream. In addition, DCI owns Mysteries of Egypt, Whales, Hidden Hawaii and Yellowstone. Both Mysteries of Egypt and Grand Canyon are blockbuster large format releases with gross box office receipts in excess of $100 million. Over 13 million people have visited the Grand Canyon Theater.
"DCI theaters are proven, control substantially all of their content, attract a large captive audience, and enjoy strong barriers to entry. DCI is truly a unique company, with key assets throughout the United States and Canada and strong growth prospects. We appreciate our friends at Zions Bank and Prism who teamed with us to finance this transaction," said Scott Chappell, a Principal with BIA Digital Partners. Mr. Chappell has been appointed to the Company's Board of Directors. Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman provided legal assistance to BIA Digital Partners and Prism Mezzanine Fund.
BIA Digital Partners is manager of two private investment funds, which provide mezzanine capital for situations like the Destination Cinema transaction. Capital is available for growth, recapitalizations and LBO's/MBO's. The Funds focus on mid- to later-stage companies operating in the media, communications, information services, and business services industries, including cable television, publishing, wireless and landline telephony, radio and television broadcasting, entertainment, towers, security alarm, outdoor advertising, and business process outsourcing. For more information, go to www.biadigitalpartners.com.