Want to buy a piece of Ewing Oil? A lot on Walton's Mountain?
This deal is being offered to you in the form of a public stock offering by Lorimar, the folks who dish out "Dallas," "The Waltons," "Eight Is Enough" and other TV series (some bound for daytime reruns and many already syndicated in overseas markets). In addition, Lorimar has two shows, "King's Crossing" and "Falcon Crest," that will debut in prime time this fall.
The production firm is going public to reduce its "outstanding indebtedness related to feature-film production" -- estimated at $103 million as of June -- and to establish a stronger financial base, according to its preliminary prospectus. The company declared a 40-for-1 stock split just prior to announcing the public stock offering.
Among the company's production credits are mini-series and made-for-TV movies such as "Studs Lonigan," "Helter Skelter" and "Sybil." The firm has had less luck at the box office, with titles including "Twilight's Last Gleaming," "Being There," "Cruising," "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and "S.O.B."
Chairman of the Board Merv Adelson said Lorimar will focus its efforts on television rather than film projects in the future but will not drop film production entirely.
"The purpose of going public is to replace more expensive debt with less expensive debt," he said. "We're putting our emphasis for the '80s on software for new technologies."
He said Lorimar hopes to supply programming to cable, disc, cassette, satellite and pay-TV markets. While he noted the company has "eight or 10" films in development, the number of film projects Lorimar pursues "will be determined by interest rates. We will be doing less if they stay at this level," Adelson added.
Lorimar proposes to offer 30,000 units of subordinated sinking fund notes, stock and warrants at $1,000 a unit, each consisting of $1,000 principal amount of notes due October 1991, 20 shares of common stock and 10-year warrants to buy 20 additional shares of common stock. After the offering, 4.6 million shares will be outstanding, and book value will equal $7.75 a share. A spokesman for Drexel Burnham Lambert, managing underwriters, said the offering is not expected to occur before October.
Lorimar posted revenues of $99.145 million for the year ended July 26, 1980, with a net income of $6.89 million ($1.75 a share). For the first nine months of fiscal 1981, Lorimar showed a profit of $6 million on revenue of $98.6 million.