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MoviePass Parent Files to Raise $1.2 Billion to Stay Afloat

Helios and Matheson Analytics, the struggling parent company of MoviePass, filed a registration statement with the SEC to raise up to $1.2 billion in equity and debt securities over the next three years.

The funding is intended to support the cash-burning operations of MoviePass, as well as the MoviePass Ventures movie investment subsidiary, MoviePass Films and Moviefone, which Helios and Matheson recently acquired from Verizon’s Oath.

Of course, whether Helios and Matheson can actually persuade investors to keep pouring money into the venture is unknown. In pre-market trading Monday, Helios and Matheson stock was down as much as 16%, to 26 cents per share. Shares have plunged over the last several months over the uncertainty of the company’s financial health, after trading at a 52-week high of $38.86 per share in October 2017.

The announcement comes after Helios and Matheson, the New York-based data and analytics company that bought MoviePass in 2017, last month announced a $164 million bond sale to provide working capital for MoviePass.

MoviePass has grown quickly since cutting its monthly price plan to less than $10, and has attracted north of 3 million customers.

However, Helios and Matheson has also faced questions about its liquidity and its viability as a going concern. Filings this spring revealed the company had $15.5 million in available cash at the end of April, plus $27.9 million on deposit with merchants. Its monthly expenses totaled $21.7 million. An independent auditor raised “substantial doubt” in financial documents made public by MoviePass about the company’s ability to continue operating.

MoviePass also faces new competition. Cinemark has launched a subscription service and AMC, the largest exhibitor in the world, unveiled its own answer to MoviePass a few weeks ago. AMC’s plan costs more, with subscriptions going for just under $20 a month, but it allows people to reserve tickets in advance and watch movies in 3D or IMAX, two things that MoviePass does not offer.

Helios and Matheson, in announcing the $1.2 billion funding plan on Monday, said its ability to raise the equity securities will depend in part on the company obtaining the affirmative vote of its shareholders an upcoming special meeting of stockholders to increase its authorized common stock or effect a combination of its outstanding common stock.

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