Genius Brands International Secures Six Million Dollars in Non-Dilutive Production Financing from Bank Leumi
Proceeds Geared Towards Genius’ Preschool Properties:
Llama Llama – Season Two on Netflix and Rainbow Rangers – Season One on Nick Jr.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Oct. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International, Inc. “Genius Brands” (NASDAQ:GNUS), the global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia entertainment content for children, including the upcoming Nick Jr. animated series Rainbow Rangers, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Bank Leumi USA for a new $6.0 million Non-Recourse Production Finance Facility, which matures on March 31, 2021. The facility provides non-dilutive production financing for the recently greenlit second season of Llama Llama, which will air on Netflix. This round of financing follows an initial facility secured in 2016 for season one of Llama Llama for $5.2 million from Bank Leumi.
Bank Leumi’s Global Media Head, Guillaume de Chalendar commented, “Our Media and Entertainment Industries Group is pleased to provide this credit facility to support the growth of Genius’ production activities. We look forward to continuing to provide the company with our sophisticated financing expertise and products for content production and distribution companies.”
Season two of the Netflix animated preschool series, Llama Llama, stars Jennifer Garner, who voices the lead role of Mama Llama. Currently in production, the sophomore season also features an all-star team of award-winning producers: Emmy Award-winning producer Jane Startz (Ella Enchanted, Tuck Everlasting, The Indian in the Cupboard, The Magic School Bus), Emmy Award-winning producer Andy Heyward (Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, Strawberry Shortcake, Madeline, Carmen Sandiego), and producer Reed Duncan. Emmy Award-winning writer Joe Purdy (Arthur, Hey Arnold!) serves as the head writer and legendary Disney alum Ruben Aquino (Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan) is the art director for the series. In addition to the 16 11-minute season two episodes, Genius Brands is also developing two new 30-minute Llama Llama specials for the leading internet entertainment service.
Based on the award-winning and bestselling children's book franchise (Penguin Random House) by lauded author and illustrator Anna Dewdney, the Llama Llama series is about first childhood experiences and adventures, as well as the special connections between the title character, Llama (Shayle Simons), his Mama, his grandparents and his friends. Season one debuted on Netflix worldwide in January 2018.
“Llama Llama Season 2 is the next chapter in Genius Brands unparalleled ‘content with a purpose’ roster based on positive values: no violence, no inappropriate language, enrichment and education in all stories,” commented Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO, Genius Brands. “The production finance facility by a well-respected lender in the media and entertainment credit community provides significant financial flexibility to continue pursuing our corporate objectives and amplifying our marquee properties, Llama Llama and Rainbow Rangers.”
Genius and Bank Leumi are also discussing additional financing for the company’s other original preschool property, Rainbow Rangers, which is slated to premiere on Monday, November 5, 2018 on the #1 rated kids’ network, Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. Currently in production on season one (52 x 11’ episodes), the CGI-animated series blends fantasy and action-adventure with accessible, mission-based stories about friendship and saving the environment.
Bank Leumi USA® is an FDIC insured, New York State chartered bank. Leumi and Bank Leumi are brands operated by Bank Leumi USA®. Bank Leumi USA®is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Leumi le-Israel, B.M. and part of the Leumi Group.
Genius Brands will file an 8K with the SEC this week announcing the facility.
About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, Genius Brands International, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s “content with a purpose” brand portfolio, which is led by award-winning creators and producers, includes preschool properties Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr. and Llama Llama for Netflix; award-winning toddler brand, Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series, Thomas Edison's Secret Lab; and financial literacy and entrepreneurship series, Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club. The Company’s content catalog also includes the animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders, created with Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment. Seeing the need to provide kids and parents with a safe viewing environment that offers premium enriching and engaging programming, Genius Brands launched the Genius Brands Network – comprised of Kid Genius Cartoon Channel and Baby Genius TV, as well as an exclusive Kid Genius Cartoons Plus subscription channel on Amazon Prime. The Network channels are available in approximately 80 million U.S. households via a variety of distribution platforms, such as OTT, set top box, internet and mobile. Through licensing agreements with category leading partners, characters from the Company’s properties also appear on a wide range of consumer products for retail. For additional information please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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Released October 1, 2018