Stan Lee Media, Inc. has announced that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In a statement, CEO and president Kenneth Williams said, "After looking at all of the available options, management and the board of directors concluded that the best way to maximize the company's value is to seek to sell the company in a Chapter 11 proceeding. As previously announced, the company has been reviewing strategic alternatives for the company since mid-December, and in conjunction with this review has had discussions with a number of potential buyers and strategic partners. Most of these parties have indicated a preference for consuming any sale or recapitalization under the protection of the courts." Williams told AWN that the company would "entertain any offers to buy pieces of the company, but would prefer to sell the company in tack to obtain the best value for its creditors and investors." On Friday, December 15, 2000, SLM halted operations after the firm failed to complete a new round of financing. For months prior to its closing, the firm's stock price had been bottoming out, falling from US$7 to $.18. Since closing up shop, the Securities and Exchange Commission have started an investigation into allegations of insider trading and misappropriation of funds. SLM is also conducting its own internal investigation. As for the licensing deals SLM signed before its demise, Williams said, "We view those deals as assets not liabilities." Such deals as the live-action feature version of Web series 7TH PORTAL will be on hold until SLM secures a buyer(s), however the 7TH PORTAL ride, which is near completion, will hit Paramount amusement parks in the spring as anticipated.
Want to learn more about Stan Lee Media's downfall? Then check out Animation World Magazine's in depth article.