MORRISTOWN, N.J.—Aug 1, 2006
Access Integrated Technologies’ Subsidiary, Christie/AIX, Closes on 7-Year, $217 Million Senior Credit Facility from GE Commercial Finance
Access Integrated Technologies, Inc. (“AccessIT”) (NASDAQ: AIXD) today announced its subsidiary, Christie/AIX, Inc. (“Christie/AIX”), has closed on its previously announced $217 million senior credit facility from GE Commercial Finance’s Global Media & Communications business and a consortium of major banks. The credit facility will be used by Christie/AIX to fund future capital equipment outlays under its ongoing 4,000-screen digital cinema rollout. Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. acted as AccessIT's financial advisor in connection with this transaction.
The company anticipates that this new credit facility, together with AccessIT’s approximately $70 million equity investment, will provide all of the necessary capital to fund the current digital cinema rollout by Christie/AIX now underway with contracted exhibitors. As of July 31, 2006, Christie/AIX had completed the installation of 628 digital cinema systems of the approximately 3,000 contracted for by seven exhibitors including Carmike Cinemas, the nation’s third largest movie circuit, Rave Motion Pictures, Galaxy Theatres, Emagine, UltraStar, Cinetopia and AccessIT’s Pavilion Digital Showcase Theatre. AccessIT has funded the installation of the initial 600 systems to Christie/AIX through equity capital investments.
Bud Mayo, chairman and chief executive officer of AccessIT, commented: “The closing of this credit facility is an extremely important event for AccessIT and, with it, the digital cinema industry. With this facility, Christie/AIX can move forward comfortably with its 4,000-screen rollout and confidently with its rapidly accelerating deployment plan supported by a world-class lender.”
Regarding GE, Mr. Mayo stated, “GE is a world-class lender and from our first meeting, we realized that they had spent significant time gaining an understanding of this industry initiative. Together we were able to execute on this first-of-its-kind credit facility.”
AccessIT's Christie/AIX acts as the administrator and financing intermediary between content-owners -- major studios and independent distributors, among others -- and exhibitors who receive turnkey digital cinema systems in conformance with DCI specifications, including 2K DLP Cinema® projectors and related hardware and software 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.