MORRISTOWN, N.J—Mar 28, 2006
Access Integrated Technologies’ Subsidiary, Christie/AIX, Receives Commitment
For 7-Year, $217 Million Senior Credit Facility From GE Commercial Finance
- New Facility to Provide Project Funding For On-Going Digital Cinema Conversion -
Access Integrated Technologies, Inc.
(“AccessIT”) (AMEX: AIX) today announced its subsidiary, Christie/AIX, has
received a commitment from GE Commercial Finance’s Global Media & Communications
business for a $217 million senior credit facility. The facility will be used to
provide Christie/AIX and its parent company, AccessIT, financing for funding
future capital equipment outlays contemplated under its ongoing 4,000-screen
digital cinema rollout.
The company anticipates that upon the closing of this new loan facility,
together with AccessIT’s approximately $75 million equity investment, the
company will have substantially all of the necessary capital to fund the
previously announced 4,000-screen digital cinema rollout by Christie/AIX.
Christie/AIX has already contracted to install 2,300 digital cinema systems at
Carmike Cinemas, the nation’s third largest movie exhibitor, 67 screens at
Galaxy Theatres and recently completed the rollout of more than 153 screens at
two exhibitors, Emagine and UltraStar. AccessIT had previously funded the
installation of the initial 300 systems through equity capital financings for
Bud Mayo, chairman and chief executive officer of AccessIT, commented: “One of
the key elements in our Christie/AIX deployment plan was the creation of a
business model that would provide third party financing sources with the
opportunity to participate in the wide-spread adoption of digital cinema. With
this commitment in place from GE, one of the pre-eminent lenders to the
entertainment industry, the steadily increasing and predictable cash flows
generated by virtual print fees we expect will enable us to flexibly fulfill our
rollout commitments while reducing our reliance on equity financing.”
“GE continues to be committed to serving the entertainment industry, and we are
excited to broaden that commitment by providing Christie/AIX with a flexible
funding solution that will allow it to continue its leading role in enabling the
industry to make its critical and long anticipated transition to digital,” said
Ralph Willis, a managing director of GE Commercial Finance.
The commitment by GE is subject to certain closing conditions, including the
execution of a loan agreement satisfactory to GE and Christie/AIX.
AccessIT's Christie/AIX unit serves as the funding vehicle and administrator for
the company's 4,000-screen digital cinema rollout plan, which has expanded
significantly from the number of screens originally announced in June 2005.
Christie/AIX will act as the administrator and financing intermediary between
content-owners -- major studios and independent distributors, among others --
and exhibitors who will receive turnkey, Digital Cinema systems in conformance
with DCI specifications, including 2K DLP Cinema® projectors and related
hardware and software. To date, Christie/AIX has been contracted to install more
than 2,500 systems in thirty-nine states and has completed the rollout of close
to 180 screens for exhibitors including Emagine, UltraStar, Galaxy and Carmike