Triton Funds Looking To Take MoviePass Parent Private


Triton Funds, the venture fund, is gearing up to approach shareholders of Helios and Matheson Analytics, the parent of MoviePass, to take control of the company that has been running out of cash.

According to a report in MarketWatch citing comments the co-founders made, Triton, which is run by University of California at San Diego finance students with an advisory board made up of alumni and faculty, thinks the subscription model to see movies in theaters isn’t going away any time soon and that the decline in the share price of the company represents a buying opportunity. The co-founders — Nathan Yee, Sam Yaffa, and Yash Thukral — told MarketWatch that the company was mismanaged and that it should be taken private. They also think there should be a management shakeup to take advantage of the movie subscription service. It has more than 3 million subscribers, noted the report. Yaffa told MarketWatch the fund first approached Helios and Matheson last week and that the company seemed opened to talks. By Friday they were told Helios and Matheson wasn’t interested, so the plan is now to take the offer to shareholders — stealing a move out of Carl Icahn’s playbook.  “We are deciding on our final valuation, and then we will reach out to the shareholders of HMNY,” he said, referring to Helios and Matheson by its ticker symbol. They declined to say if they had a stake in the company at the current time.

After the MoviePass service went down and processors halted operations due to a failure to pay business partners in July, it was reported that HMNY arranged a short-term loan. The company will use $5 million of a $6 million loan to pay its processors. The loan was from Hudson Bay Capital Management. Under the terms of the loan from Hudson Bay, the lender can demand repayment of more than $3 million on Aug. 1 and the remainder on Aug. 5. Proceeds from a stock sale must be used to pay back the loan, reported Bloomberg. If the company doesn’t pay the money back, it faces a 15 percent annualized penalty until it does so. If the payment is 48 hours late, the interest could jump to 130 percent, the report noted. HMNY has also announced it will institute a reverse stock split of its issued and outstanding common stock to shore up cash before the share price bloodletting.