Prism out of Chapter 11 through Lee Video merger

One year, a month and a day after filing bankruptcy, Prism Pictures has emerged from Chapter 11 effective Jan. 9 through a merger with Lee Video City Inc.

The new company, consisting of 23 retail video outlets and including Prism’s 47-title film library, is capitalized at 10 million shares at $2 per share under the new logo of Video City Inc., based in Bakersfield.

The merger of the publicly held Prism and privately held Video City gives 10% ownership to Prism president Barry Collier, who becomes president of VCI, with Robert Y. Lee as chairman and CEO. Other owners include In-gram Entertainment, Rentrack and various creditors, with 45% of stock retained by VCI.

The transaction was handled by Chanin & Co, the investment bank retained by Prism and its creditors committee. Imperial Bank stayed in the deal, refinancing a $2.7 loan to Prism.

Collier said that plans for expanding the chain in secondary markets on the West Coast will hopefully be fueled by sublicensing the Prism library for domestic and international distribution or by selling the library outright.

Prism’s titles include the “Night Eyes” series and other low-budget genre pics such as “Snapdragon,” an erotic thriller marking Pamela Anderson’s film debut. The only theatrically distribbed pic is the Paul Rodriguez starrer “A Million to Juan.”

Collier said he is now out of film production, except for a sequel to “When the Bough Breaks,” which will be produced by Meeker/Greene Entertainment.

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