Acamar Films Ltd EIS

ALERT: Offer now closed (2 January 2019)

This offer has reached capacity. Any applications already submitted will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

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This is the sort of deal that rarely – if ever – gets in front of retail investors.

It's an opportunity to invest in Acamar Films EIS – the company behind the BBC CBeebies number one preschool children’s show, Bing.

Earlier in the year Acamar raised £3 million under EIS. That offer, which was available exclusively through Wealth Club, was fully subscribed in 34 days. Since then, Acamar has achieved the targets it set out at the time.

Now, to help support Bing’s progress towards becoming a global brand, Acamar is launching a new smaller EIS round, again exclusively through Wealth Club. It aims to raise £1,395,000 by issuing 279,000 EIS compliant B shares at £5 per share. This offer is expected to reach capacity quickly.

Exclusive video: Bing's success and potential


Highlights 

  • Invest in Bing, the number-one rated pre-schooler show on CBeebies
  • Currently broadcast in 102 territories 
  • Founder and his family have invested £9.5 million of their own money 
  • Already successful business but unusually still privately owned
  • 60% share premium on EIS shares
  • Strong M&A activity in the sector 
  • Target returns of 3.12x after tax relief – not guaranteed
  • Single company private EIS offer for experienced investors only
  • Minimum investment £20,000

Important: The information on this website is for experienced investors. It is not advice nor a research or personal recommendation to invest. If you’re unsure, please seek advice. Investments are for the long term. They are high risk and illiquid and can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest.


The offer

This is an opportunity to invest in Acamar Films EIS – the company behind Bing, the BBC CBeebies number one preschool children’s show. 

Bing is a bunny – a loveable and authentic three-year-old, who entered the lives of British toddlers in 2014. Today it is the number-one rated preschool show and most successful programme in BBC CBeebies’s digital history. It is available in 102 territories and has 30 licensing deals in eight countries across several product categories. The popularity of Bing on TV has been surpassed by its digital success with over 263 million requests on BBC iPlayer and 272 million views of Bing content on YouTube internationally.

Unusually for the sector, Bing is still independently owned. Acamar Films Ltd (“Acamar”) still owns 96% of recoupable revenues and control of the intellectual property (IP). 

The journey so far has been largely financed by Acamar’s CEO and his family, who have invested a total of £9.5 million. Earlier this year, the company raised £3 million under EIS. That offer, which was available exclusively through Wealth Club, was fully subscribed in 34 days. Since then, Acamar has achieved the targets it set out at the time. 

Now, to help support Bing’s progress towards becoming a global brand, Acamar is launching a new smaller EIS round, again exclusively through Wealth Club. It aims to raise £1,395,000 by issuing 279,000 EIS compliant B shares at £5 per share. This represents a pre-money valuation of £43 million.

Acamar Films Ltd EIS – BingRecent milestones 

Broadcasting and digital

  • Fourth series (an additional 26 episodes) is currently being produced and scheduled to be delivered in 2019
  • 60 million separate requests for Bing in 2018 on BBC iPlayer (263 million+ since launch)
  • Currently broadcast in 102 territories – three added since last fundraise. Launch in Italy in February 2018 has proven a huge success. New launch in Russia on the Karousel O! cable channel, with the main terrestrial channel expected to launch early in 2019. New broadcasting deals signed in the Middle East and South Korea, and negotiations to launch in China, Japan and America next year underway.
  • Completed the construction of Acamar’s own in-house studio as part of its strategy to produce original ‘digital-first’ content. 
  • YouTube global channel already has more than 146,000 subscribers (96,000 added in the last six months), with over 272 million views, an increase of nearly 200 million in less than six months. 

Note past performance is not a guide to the future.

Licensing

  • More than 30 licensing deals in over eight countries across several product categories including clothing, magazines, book publishing, toys, puzzles & games, experiential licenses (live theatre shows/character meet-&-greets), cinema screenings and DVDs. 
  • On track to achieve the objective of 70 licensing deals in place globally by the end of the current financial year (September 2019).
  • Award-winning toy manufacturing company ‘Golden Bear’ appointed as the new master toy licensee for Bing for Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Additional licensing partners include HarperCollins Publishers (publishing), Ravensburger AG (games), Rainbow Productions (character costumes/mascots) and StudioCanal (home entertainment). 
  • Cinema debut in 88 Vue cinemas (30,000 ticket sales). It was originally supposed to be for only one weekend but was extended to four weekends due to its popularity. Based on this success it is now being launched in Poland, with Italy and the Netherlands to follow early next year. 
  • ‘Bing Live Show’, Bing’s first stage show, launched in June 2018. It has sold 78,000 tickets to date. By the end of the 2018/2019 tour, the tour will have visited more than 60 venues across the UK. 
  • Licensing revenue was £319k in the current year and is projected to grow to £1.9 million next year according to the base case forecasts.

Target returns and valuation

Based on previous acquisitions within this sector, valuations seem to have little reflection on financial performance. They tend instead to be driven by the appeal of a concept that can be fitted into the acquirer’s existing distribution network and the potential to exploit its popularity. So, we believe the valuation for Acamar would not be predicated on a multiple of its current profits, but instead on what the brand could be worth to the acquirer. 

Potential target returns are covered in more detail in the Research Report and Information Memorandum. The management has confirmed it would not consider an equity valuation of less than £50 million. If the Base Case plan is achieved by 2023, the property could be worth significantly more than £50 million, in our opinion, although there are no guarantees and it could be worth significantly less. 

If the Management Case is achieved the value could increase exponentially.

In a downside scenario, as illustrated below, should the valuation on exit be lower than the £43 million pre-money valuation, thanks to the share premium account EIS investors could still get a positive return even before taking into account EIS tax relief.

Remember, returns are not guaranteed and capital is at risk. Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances.

Management team

The team is led by CEO and founder Mikael Shields. Over a period of 30 years, Mikael has established an international reputation for identifying, developing and producing a wide range of hit film and television projects including Nick Park’s Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit, the global phenomenon that is Pingu, BAFTA-winning Hilltop Hospital, the multi-award winning Flatworld and Aardman Animation’s Rex The Runt. 

Exit options

As with all EIS companies, if it is successful there is the option of a trade sale, a sale to another investor, refinancing or a stock market listing. 

Finding a strategic partner to take Bing global is an option the management is actively considering. Bing is already one of the most successful independent pre-schooler brands and could be a highly attractive target. Indeed, Acamar has already turned down a number of offers from some of the leading global media giants. Exit options and timeframes are not guaranteed. Note if the investment did achieve an early exit, this could affect EIS tax relief. 

Risks - important 

This, like all investments available through Wealth Club, is only for experienced investors happy to make their own investment decisions without advice.

EIS / SEIS investments are high-risk so should only form part of a balanced portfolio and you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose. They also tend to be illiquid and hard to sell and value. Before you invest, please carefully read the Risks and Commitments and the offer documents to ensure you fully understand the risks. 

This is a single company EIS offer with no diversification. It involves investing in an early-stage business which is by nature high risk and prone to failure.

The value of tax benefits depends on circumstances and tax rules can change. 

Fees and charges

Investors are investing in the company directly so will pay no direct initial or ongoing charges. Acamar will pay an introducer fee to Wealth Club of 6%.

Our view

In our view, this is a commercially compelling, highly attractive investment opportunity to invest in a hit show, proven business and brand that’s already demonstrated its global potential. There are not many EIS-qualifying opportunities like this around. Like all EIS investments, the risk is commensurate with the potential returns: you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose.

The level of commitment from the CEO and his family is rare and we believe leaves no doubt as to their passion and determination to make Bing a global success. It means the company has retained its independence and full control over its IP and rights over the majority of its revenues. If a successful exit is achieved (not guaranteed), this strategy should enhance shareholder returns.

The capital structure is attractive for EIS shareholders, as they get priority return on their capital plus a share premium of 60%.

If Acamar manages to achieve its plans, we believe it could exceed the valuation of £50 million and therefore potentially deliver remarkable returns to experienced investors, although you should form your own view.

Wealth Club aims to highlight investments we believe have merit, but you should form your own view. You should decide based on the provider's documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. This review is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy the investment mentioned. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination. 23 Nov 2018.

The details

Type
Single company
Sector
Media
Target return
3.12x
Funds raised / sought
£1.4 million / £1.4 million
Minimum investment
£20,000
Deadline
CLOSED

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