On a smoother ride

Iwerks losses narrow in run-up to acquisition

HOLLYWOOD — Ride film and large-screen exhib Iwerks Entertainment, which has agreed to be taken over by Canadian rival SimEx, on Thursday reported narrowed losses in its fiscal fourth quarter and year despite a bigger asset writedown than a year ago.

The Burbank-based company saw $5 million in annual red ink through June 30, compared with $22.5 million in losses the previous fiscal year.

Annual revenue slid 21% to $22.2 million.

Iwerks posted a $3.3 million loss in its fiscal fourth quarter compared with a $5 million loss a year earlier. Quarterly revenue slid 18% to $4.6 million.

Iwerks took an assets writedown of $3.2 million in the latest quarter vs. $2.2 million a year earlier.

Founded in 1994 by former Disney exec Don Iwerks, the company has long struggled with losses as it has sought in vain to find the right mix of ride film businesses and other operations. Last month, Iwerks agreed to be acquired by simulation-ride company SimEx for 63¢ per share, or less than $2.3 million.

Proposed acquisition is subject to Iwerks shareholder approval. Company would be operated as a subsidiary of privately held SimEx once the transaction is finalized.

Iwerks shares closed off a penny Thursday at 53¢.

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