Current Capital Rendered a Fairness Opinion to the Board of Directors of The Arena Group in Connection with its Transaction with Bridge Media Networks
NEW YORK, November 6, 2023–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Arena Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE American: AREN) (“we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company” or “The Arena Group”), a technology platform and media company home to more than 265 brands, including Sports Illustrated, TheStreet, Parade Media, Men’s Journal, and HubPages, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement under which the Company will combine with Bridge Media Networks, LLC (“Bridge Media Networks”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Simplify Inventions, LLC (“Simplify”). In connection with the business combination, 5-Hour International Corporation Pte. Ltd. (“5-Hour”) will purchase $25 million of common stock of the combined company (“New Arena”), and The Hans Foundation, USA (“Hans Foundation”) will purchase $25 million of preferred stock of New Arena. The Arena Group and Simplify previously announced the signing of a binding Letter of Intent between the parties on August 14, 2023.
The proposed transaction is expected to expand the reach and capabilities of The Arena Group and provide it with growth capital while also reducing its debt and extending the terms on its existing debt facilities, further strengthening and fortifying The Arena Group’s balance sheet.
Under the terms of the agreement, The Arena Group stockholders will receive one share of common stock of New Arena for each share of The Arena Group common stock they own. Immediately following the proposed transaction, Simplify and 5-Hour are expected to hold 65% of all outstanding shares of New Arena common stock (on a fully diluted basis). Simplify has also agreed to purchase, from time to time at Arena’s election, up to $20 million of additional common equity in New Arena, for a period of one year following the closing date of the business combination, to be used for operations and growth.
Pursuant to the proposed transaction, the existing assets of The Arena Group will be combined with the video programming, distribution, and production assets of Bridge Media Networks, including Bridge Media Networks’ two 24-hour networks, NEWSnet and Sports News Highlights, as well as the automotive and travel properties Driven and TravelHost. In addition, The Arena Group will receive a five-year guaranteed advertising commitment of approximately $60 million aggregate value from a group of consumer brands also owned by Simplify, including 5-hour ENERGY®. The Arena Group intends to use a portion of the cash proceeds to reduce its debt by $26 million from current levels.
The Board of Directors of The Arena Group received a fairness opinion from Current Capital Securities LLC in connection with the proposed business combination.
The proposed transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023 or first quarter of 2024 subject to the approval of The Arena Group’s stockholders, the receipt of any required regulatory approvals and certain other closing conditions. Upon completion of the transaction, New Arena is expected to trade on the NYSE American under the ticker symbol AREN.
Additional details regarding the transaction will be available in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).
About The Arena Group
The Arena Group (NYSE American: AREN) is an innovative technology platform and media company with a proven cutting-edge playbook that transforms media brands. Our unified technology platform empowers creators and publishers with tools to publish and monetize their content, while also leveraging quality journalism of anchor brands like Sports Illustrated, TheStreet, Parade, Men’s Journal, and HubPages to build their businesses. The company aggregates content across a diverse portfolio of over 265 brands, reaching over 100 million users monthly. Visit us at thearenagroup.net and discover how we are revolutionizing the world of digital media.
About Bridge Media Networks
Bridge Media Networks is a dynamic and innovative media group that offers a wide range of platforms for delivering the latest news, sports, automotive, and travel content. Bridge Media Networks’ portfolio includes over-the-air television stations, two national television networks, cutting-edge streaming platforms, and dynamic websites designed to keep viewers informed and entertained. Bridge Media Networks’ unwavering commitment is to provide viewers with the most comprehensive and impartial content possible through its flagship brands: NEWSnet, Sports News Highlights, Driven, and TravelHost.
About Current Capital Partners
Current Capital Partners LLC is an independent advisory and merchant banking firm focused primarily on the industrial and services sectors. We provide mergers and acquisitions advisory services, corporate management services, and private equity investing. The mergers and acquisitions advisory effort offers high-quality financial advisory services – including actionable ideas, buy-side and sell-side execution, strategic and capital structure reviews, restructuring advisory and related services – for corporate and investment firm clients seeking industry expertise, an independent perspective and senior attention. In our management services effort, we manage investments, provide restructuring advice, sit on Boards of Directors and provide related consulting services for other investors and financial institutions; and offer advice and expert witness services in complex corporate litigation. Our private equity investing business helps create value, primarily in lower middle market and smaller companies, with an integrated operating, finance and investment approach. Our Advisory Board and Executive Network are important advantages for our clients. Learn more at www.currentcap.com.
Jonathan F. Foster
Telephone: +1 212 223 0618