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Genius Brings on Critic, Plans to Raise $5M With Common Stock Offering

18 May, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

Genius Products has enlisted film and theater critic Jeffrey Lyons to become the company's spokesperson for its feature-film lines, which include content from Sundance Channel Home Entertainment, AMC, IFILM and the Wellspring film library.

“[Lyons] will play a pivotal role in creating awareness among consumers for our extensive slate of films through on-air, print and direct-response campaigns,” said Trevor Drinkwater, Genius Products CEO.

Lyons was the co-host of the PBS series “Sneak Previews” from 1982 to 1996, and currently contributes to entertainment coverage for various NBC daily and weekend newscasts.

Genius also announced it plans to offer 2.86 million shares of its common stock for private placement at $1.75 per share to raise proceeds of about $5 million for use as working capital and for content acquisitions.

In March, the company acquired the Wellspring film library, adding its foreign and arthouse catalog to Genius' brands in the value DVD and children's video markets.

That acquisition, however, was not in time to contribute to first-quarter 2005 net revenue for the company, which showed a net loss of $2.2 million from the comparable 2004 period. The company also posted a loss in the first quarter of last year.

Revenue for the first three months of the year were affected by the transition of lower-margin businesses to higher-priced branded and proprietary products, as well as the shift of sales of selected products to later quarters to take advantage of wider distribution opportunities, according to the company.

Genius “will realize cost savings and economies of scale” from the Wellspring library and other new branded content in the second quarter, Drinkwater said. He also said Genius plans to explore new forms of distribution in the wireless, pay-per-view and video-on-demand markets.

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