On Friday, December 15, 2000, Stan Lee Media (SLM) stopped operations and laid off "substantially all of its [140 person] staff." The company will keep an executive core to look into possible new directions for the company including selling off the firm's assets. The move comes as a result of the Netcaster's plummeting stock and inability to raise a new round of financing. Early in December, SLM announced it had obtained US$2.2 million as a bridge loan until it could finalize a $40 million financing round. However, the fall of its stock price from a steady $9 to under $1 made additional funding hard to secure. "We still believe in the fundamentals of our business plan and are proud of the work we have accomplished to date," said president and CEO Ken Williams. "In the coming weeks, we will be focusing on exploring the full range of strategic alternatives available to us in order to maximize shareholder value." The company was created by comic book legend Stan Lee and Los Angeles entrepreneur Peter Paul in 1999. SLM had signed a deal with Mark Canton Productions to turn its 7TH PORTAL Webtoon into a feature live-action film, however no details have been announced as to how the halt in operations will affect this deal. In addition, the company turned pop stars the Backstreet Boys and Mary J. Blige into superhero cartoon characters and recently purchased the rights to the CONAN franchise.
Want to know more about the history of Stan Lee Media then read Lee Dannacher's company profile in Animation World Magazine.