IMAX Corp. (IMAX), WASU Enter Partnership Apr 16, 2014 06:17AM

IMAX Corp. (NYSE: IMAX) and TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Ltd. announced a joint-venture partnership with Wasu Digital TV Media Group (WASU) as part of their IMAX TCL home theatre initiative. As one of China's largest digital content providers and one of five operators approved by the state to deliver multimedia content to the home, WASU will license and distribute IMAX-enhanced Hollywood and Chinese current theatrical and other content to the IMAX-TCL premium home theatre system.

The deal builds on the 2013 joint venture agreement between IMAX and TCL to design, develop and manufacture a premium, fully integrated home theatre system that is expected to launch in China and select other global markets in 2015. Today's agreement is a significant milestone in the IMAX-TCL initiative that will enable the delivery of a wide array of premium, wholly differentiated IMAX content in the home.

"Following our joint venture with TCL and our investment in Prima Cinemas' secure content transmission technology, today's content alliance marks the next logical step in the development of our premium home theatre offering in China," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "As a pioneer in digital content transmission and the navigation of the regulatory environment in China with extensive experience and knowledge of the local business landscape, WASU is the ideal content distribution and operation partner and enables a complete end-to-end premium home theatre experience for consumers in China."

"As TCL is transforming itself towards becoming a customer-centered entertainment technology provider, we are committed to bringing world-class movie experiences to households by working with IMAX and the Hollywood studios," said Tomson Dongsheng Li, Chairman and CEO of TCL Corp. "The addition of our long-time partner WASU to this venture will provide us valuable distribution resources and market channels as well as access to high-quality local content."

"With the world's largest Internet population, entertainment consumption in China is undergoing a dramatic transformation. We are committed to supporting innovations that reflect the new digital media realities that are currently underway," commented Qiang Cao, chairman of WASU Digital TV Media Group. "The merging of TCL Multimedia and IMAX's ground-breaking entertainment technology in a home theatre environment is a powerful collaboration. We are proud to be a part of this offering which we believe will set a new standard of excellence in China's premium home theatre market."

"Today's agreement, along with the recent investment in our China business by CMC Capital Partners and FountainVest Partners, is consistent with our long-term strategy in the country," concluded Gelfond. "We are committed to aligning ourselves with strategic Chinese partners to better address consumer and market needs in order to strengthen our business interests in China and those of our shareholders."

Emirates Airline Selects Microsoft (MSFT) as Partner in Global Brand Campaign Apr 16, 2014 06:15AM

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Advertising announced Tuesday that it has been chosen by Emirates Airline and its media agency Havas Media Group as one of the key partners for its global brand campaign. The large-scale campaign spans 25 markets and runs across services including MSN, Xbox, Windows 8 and Skype on four different screens (PC, TV, tablet and mobile). The campaign aims to raise brand awareness among a target audience of football fans by driving views of the hero video — created by BBDO — featuring footballing legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Pele aboard Emirates' flagship aircraft, the Airbus A380.

This new campaign, which launched on March 28 at an event in Madrid and will run until April 21, leverages a variety of ad formats and interactive technologies, such as touch and Kinect, to offer the optimal brand experience on the screen and service the consumer is enjoying. The campaign will deliver over 400 million impressions around the globe.

As part of the deal Microsoft will design the Emirates Airline page on the MSN World Cup channel in the majority of markets involved in the campaign, featuring specially designed page skins and takeovers. Other key value-ads offered by Microsoft include building out the creative, translation, and investing in research of the campaign effectiveness.

"For this digital campaign, we were looking at reaching as many customers across as many platforms as possible. We chose Microsoft as one of our partners for this campaign because of the multiple touch points it was able to offer," said Christopher Galanto, Emirates senior vice president, Advertising. "As a global airline, we wanted a partner with a truly global reach to emphasize our global brand presence. We were also attracted to Microsoft's ability to offer consistent formats across markets with the reassurance of a brand-safe environment."

"Emirates came to us with the challenge of opening up its premium brand to a wider audience, both for this brand campaign and beyond," said Frank Holland, CVP Microsoft Advertising & Online. "Specifically, through views of the hero video it wants to raise brand awareness among a younger, tech-savvy demographic increasingly accustomed to frequent traveling: the business travelers of tomorrow. Microsoft's ability to offer a seamless experience for these consumers across platforms, screens and markets means that we are able to provide a valuable brand connection to the target demographic wherever they are and on whatever device they are using."

The campaign will use the following activations to reach consumers across the Microsoft network:

  • On MSN, the campaign features a full homepage takeover in all markets (excluding Japan).
  • On Skype, there is a masthead-format homepage takeover featuring a 10-second sneak peek of the video, where the user can click through to view the full film.
  • On Xbox the in-banner video is activated by a user-initiated action and can be expanded to full video when selected.
  • On Skype, the campaign will be featured through a mobile banner that will take the user to the full video when clicked upon.
  • On Windows 8, the campaign will be featured throughout key apps including Skype, Xbox, Bing News, Bing Sports, Bing Weather, Bing Food & Drink, Bing Travel, Bing Finance, and Bing Health & Fitness.

The campaign is running in 25 markets: Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Oman and has been translated into 12 languages. Once users have watched the video they are prompted to click through to the Emirates World Cup microsite featuring an extended feature with the two footballing stars and a visual walk-through of the new Airbus A380.

Efficacy of the campaign will be investigated by two research projects: Nielsen will research the uptick in brand awareness, favorability and purchase intent in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and Microsoft's own Consumer Insights team will undertake an engagement study in the United States.

S&P Upgrades BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. (BMR) to 'BBB' Apr 15, 2014 05:25PM

BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: BMR) announced that its investment grade corporate credit rating from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services ("S&P") has been upgraded from BBB– to BBB. BioMed Realty was the first real estate investment trust dedicated to the life science industry to receive investment grade corporate credit ratings from S&P and Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") in April 2010. The company received positive outlooks from S&P and Moody's in June 2013 and March 2014, respectively.

"We view our investment grade corporate credit rating as one of the key drivers of our capital strategy and a competitive advantage in pursuing strategic growth opportunities," said Greg N. Lubushkin, Chief Financial Officer of BioMed Realty. "We are pleased that S&P has upgraded our rating to BBB, which further enhances our long-term financial flexibility as we continue to build on our proven track record of creating value for our tenant partners and stockholders."

Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc (NUS) Enters $50M Loan Agreement; Borrowed $34M from LoC Apr 15, 2014 05:05PM

On April 9, 2014, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS) entered into a loan agreement with Bank of America, N.A. for a 364 day revolving line of credit with a commitment amount of $50.0 million. As previously disclosed in the Company's periodic filings, the Company entered into a similar loan agreement in September 2013 with Bank of America, N.A. for a 364 day revolving line of credit with a commitment amount of $50.0 million. To date, the Company has borrowed approximately $34 million under the September 2013 line of credit. The Company may use the proceeds of the loans for general business purposes and stock repurchases. The loan agreements set forth the method for determining applicable interest rates and fees, include customary covenants and default provisions and require repayment of any outstanding principal, interest or other charges in full on or before the expiration date of the respective loan agreement. In addition to the revolving lines of credit, Bank of America, N.A. provides other banking services to the Company.

Eagle Bulk Shipping (EGLE) Announces Extension of Forbearance Apr 15, 2014 05:03PM

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (Nasdaq: EGLE) (the "Company" or "Eagle") announced today that the Company has entered into an amendment to its previously reported Waiver and Forbearance Agreement in order to facilitate continued discussions between the Company and the Lenders under its Fourth Amended and Restated Credit Facility (the "Credit Agreement").

The amendment to the Waiver, which was originally announced on March 20, 2014, extends from April 15, 2014 to April 30, 2014 the milestone requiring the Company and the Lenders constituting "Majority Lenders" under the Credit Agreement to (i) agree on terms of a restructuring of the obligations outstanding under the Credit Agreement and (ii) execute a binding restructuring support agreement or similar agreement documenting such agreed-upon terms.

Under the terms of the Waiver, the Lenders agreed to waive until June 30, 2014 certain potential events of default, subject to the Company's compliance with certain terms, conditions and milestones as set forth in the Waiver. The Waiver remains in effect on substantially the same terms and conditions, with certain modifications as set forth in the amendment.

While Eagle Bulk is continuing discussions with its Lenders as part of the Waiver, the Company cautioned that there is no assurance such discussions will result in a comprehensive resolution. Additional discussion regarding the impact of a failure to reach a consensual resolution with the Lenders can be found in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 31, 2014.

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