Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Notable financing (NYNY)

AlphaNinja - Empire Resorts (NYNY) shares are up 34% today as they received some SAVE YOUR A$$ financing, if you'll excuse my language.

In a release from about an hour ago, they detailed:

MONTICELLO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Empire Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: NYNY - News) (the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into an Investment Agreement with Kien Huat Realty III Limited (“Kien Huat”) under which $55 million in new equity capital will be invested in the Company in two tranches in exchange for Common Stock representing just under 50% of the voting power of the Company.

And further down, what the shares were/are being sold for:

Upon closing of the Second Tranche, Kien Huat will own 34,506,040 shares of the Common Stock of the Company for an aggregate equity investment of $55 million. Kien Huat’s holdings in the Company will then represent one share less than 50% of the voting power of the Company.

That equates to $1.59 per share paid by the new investors, while people buying shares this afternoon are paying $2.86 -->> 80% higher.

While that nice discount from yesterday's $2.00 closing price may seem unfair, such are things when you're in bad shape and need some capital. Empire Resorts was under attack from one of its lenders:

MONTICELLO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Empire Resorts, Inc. (the "Company") (NASDAQ: NYNY) announced today that The Park Avenue Bank of New York (the “Bank”) has issued a notice of default for failure of the Company to repay $4.4 million in debt obligations to the Bank on their maturity date of July 28, 2009. As a result of the Company's default, the Bank contemporaneously exercised a right under an Intercreditor Agreement which was assigned by the Bank of Scotland to the Bank on July 28, 2009, to issue a Standstill Notice to the Note Holders of the Company's $65 million Senior Notes. Pursuant to the Standstill Notice, Note Holders are prohibited from exercising any rights or remedies in respect of collection on, set off against, marshalling of, or foreclosure on the collateral pledged by the Company to secure its obligations under the Notes for a period of 90 days. The standstill period will expire on October 27, 2009.

A financing like this is massively dilutive to current shareholders, but the "survival" aspect means that stockholders will have a share in future upside, unlike cases like Lear, where the company waltzed into bankruptcy. One of the reasons Empire opted for dilutive but necessary equity financing was because the CEO owns 1.3million shares, and is concerned about their value just like other shareholders. Management being aligned with your interests as a stockholder is something to keep in mind when looking at troubled companies.

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