Revs plummet at J2 as changes loom

Drop spurred by sale to minority shareholders, execs say

J2 Communications, parent company to the National Lampoon entertainment franchise, posted a fiscal second-quarter loss Thursday of $328,187 as revenue plunged 90% leading up to a planned change of ownership control at the Los Angeles-based company.

In the year-earlier period, J2 reported $343,890 in net income. But execs said the revenue plunge was exacerbated by expenses related to the pending sale of a controlling stake in the company to a pair of current minority shareholders.

Revenue in the three months ended Jan. 31 totaled $23,071 vs. a year-earlier $224,641. Revenue was greater in the year-earlier period primarily due to higher licensing fees, including those from feature laffer “National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon,” officials said.

Investor Daniel Laikin first signaled an interest in taking over J2 last August and with fellow shareholder Paul Skjodt announced a preliminary agreement to do so March 4. The pair want to install new directors and change the company’s name to National Lampoon Inc.

Laikin and Skjodt have controlled shares that — combined with those held by outgoing chief James Jimirro — represent about 39% of J2’s common stock. Under an acquisition agreement expected to close by the end of June, a group led by Laikin and Skjodt would bring its holdings to 53% by acquiring Jimirro’s shares and some additional shares directly from J2 for a total $4.6 million, or roughly $15 a share.

J2’s Nasdaq-listed shares were off 50¢, or almost 4%, at $12.75 in afternoon trading. The stock set a 52-week high of $14.75 last Aug. 24, after posting a 52-week low of $6.75 on May 16.

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