Premier Exhibition (PRXI) - Description of business
We are in the business of developing and touring museum quality exhibitions. We are known best for our Titanic exhibitions, which we conduct through our wholly-owned subsidiary RMS Titanic, Inc. and which honor the ill-fated liner RMS Titanic. The Titanic has continued to captivate the thoughts and imaginations of millions of people throughout the world since 1912 when it struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on its maiden voyage. More than 1,500 of the 2,228 lives on board the Titanic were lost.
We are recognized as the salvor-in -possession of the Titanic wreck and wreck site. As such, we have the exclusive right to recover objects from the Titanic. Through our explorations, we have obtained oceanic material and scientific data, including still photography and videotape, as well as artifacts from the Titanic wreck site. The Titanic lies at 12,500 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 400 miles off the southern coast of Newfoundland. We utilize this data and the artifacts for historical verification, scientific education and public awareness. We generate income through touring exhibitions, third party licensing, sponsorship and merchandise sales. We intend to continue to present exhibitions throughout the world in an enlightening and dignified manner that embodies respect for those who lost their lives in the disaster.
We believe that we are in the best position to provide for the archaeological survey, scientific interpretation, public awareness, historical conservation, and stewardship of the Titanic shipwreck. We possess the largest collection of data, information, images, and cultural materials associated with the shipwreck. Our Titanic exhibitions have toured throughout the world and have been viewed by more than 15 million people.
We operate all of our exhibitions through wholly-owned subsidiaries. At this time, our wholly-owned subsidiary RMS Titanic, Inc. is operating our Titanic exhibitions. We adopted this holding company structure in October 2004. Prior to that, we conducted all of our business activities, including our exhibitions, exclusively through RMS Titanic, Inc.
We have expanded our exhibitions beyond the Titanic into human anatomy exhibitions that explore the marvels of the human body. We currently operate five exhibitions, four of which are known as Bodies...The Exhibition and one known as Bodies Revealed. We plan to present at least one additional human anatomy-based exhibition in the future. We also plan to conduct additional exhibitions in the future, not related to
Titanic or human anatomy, and we expect that those exhibitions will be conducted through additional subsidiaries that we will organize in the future as needed.
Through February 28, 2006, the end of our most recent fiscal year, we generated the majority of our revenue from activities related to our Titanic exhibitions. Our principal sources of revenue are exhibition tickets sales, merchandise sales, licensing activities and sponsorship agreements. Prior to April 2004, we relied on the services of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. to present our Titanic exhibitions.
Origins and History of the Company
Titanic Ventures Limited Partnership, or TVLP, a Connecticut limited partnership, was formed in 1987 for the purposes of exploring the wreck of the Titanic and its surrounding oceanic areas. In August 1987, TVLP contracted with the Institute of France for the Research and Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER) to conduct an expedition and dive to the wreck of the Titanic. IFREMER is among the worlds largest oceanographic institutes and is owned by the French government. Using state-of -the-art technology provided by IFREMER, approximately 60 days of research and recovery operations were performed by TVLP at the Titanic wreck site through the use of a manned submersible named Nautile. Approximately 1,800 objects were recovered during the course of the 32 dives in that expedition. The recovered objects were conserved and preserved by Electricite de France, or EDF, a French government-owned utility. In addition to the recovery of historic objects, the 1987 expedition also produced approximately 140 hours of videotape footage and an estimated 7,000 still photographs of the wreck site. The French government subsequently conveyed to us title to these artifacts. In July 2004, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia concluded that such conveyance was not valid and sought to deprive us of title to these artifacts. We appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. On January 31, 2006, the Court of Appeals reversed and vacated the ruling of the lower court. This decision reconfirmed the validity of our title to the 1,800 artifacts recovered during the 1987 expedition.
On May 4, 1993, we acquired all the assets and assumed all the liabilities of TVLP. In June 1993, we successfully completed our second expedition to the Titanic wreck site, during which we recovered approximately 800 artifacts and produced approximately 105 hours of videotape footage over the course of fifteen dives. In July 1994, we recovered more than 1,000 objects and produced approximately 125 hours of videotape footage during our third expedition to the Titanic wreck site. In August 1996, we again recovered numerous objects and produced approximately 125 hours of videotape footage during our fourth expedition to the Titanic wreck site. In August 1998, we recovered numerous objects and produced approximately 350 hours of videotape footage during our fifth expedition to the Titanic wreck site. Among the highlights of our 1998 expedition were the successful recovery of the Big Piece, a section of the Titanics hull measuring approximately 26 feet by 20 feet and weighing approximately 15 tons, and extensive mapping of the Titanic and portions of the wreck site through the capture of thousands of high-resolution color digital photographs.
Our 1987, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1998 Titanic expeditions were completed by charter agreements with IFREMER. Most of the objects recovered during those expeditions were ultimately transported to a privately owned conservation laboratory in France for restoration and preservation to prepare for exhibition. Certain of the objects that were recovered in 1987 as well as the Big Piece, recovered in 1998, went through their conservation processes in the United States. All of the artifacts not on exhibition are either in conservation or housed in our storage facility in Atlanta, Georgia.
In March 1999, we entered into an agreement with Magicworks Entertainment, Inc., a direct subsidiary of PACE Entertainment, Inc. and an indirect subsidiary of SFX Entertainment, Inc., pursuant to which SFX was granted an exclusive worldwide license to exhibit Titanic artifacts. This license agreement later transferred to Clear Channel Communications, Inc., the successor to SFX. In April 2004, we elected not to renew this agreement so that we could begin developing and marketing Titanic exhibitions on our own. In addition, we acquired all of the display equipment necessary for our Titanic exhibitions from Clear Channel Communications for an aggregate cost of $600,000.
During July and August of 2000, we conducted another expedition to the Titanic wreck site. During this expedition, we utilized the services of the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Moscow, which provided us with the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh and two manned submersibles, the MIR-1 and the MIR-2. This expedition consisted of a total of twenty-eight dives over a four-week period and resulted in the recovery of more than 900 objects from the wreck site, as well as the discovery of a new debris field. Among the artifacts recovered during this expedition were the ships wheel and stand, nine leather bags containing more than 100 objects, the whistle control timer from the navigation bridge, the main telegraph base and the docking bridge telephone. Also recovered were binoculars, a pair of opera glasses, sixty-five intact perfume ampoules, a camera, a bowler hat, a first class demitasse and dinner plate, a base for a cherub (likely from the ships grand staircase), as well as gilded wood from a balustrade.
In May 2001, we acquired ownership of the wreck of the RMS Carpathia, which was sunk during World War I off the coast of Ireland. This ship rescued more than 700 of the Titanics survivors. At present we have no definitive plans to conduct an expedition to the RMS Carpathia.
In August and September 2004, we conducted our seventh expedition to the Titanic wreck site. Expedition 2004 departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on August 25, 2004 and for the first time allowed us to rely exclusively on a deep ocean remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, that permitted the expedition to utilize round-the -clock underwater operations. In addition to the recovery of 75 historic artifacts from the Titanic wreck site, we discovered a new debris field that includes remnants from the first class a la carte restaurant. We plan to continue recovery work in the future by planning additional expeditions to the Titanic wreck-site.
During 2004, we expanded our exhibitions beyond the Titanic into human anatomy exhibitions, which explore the marvels of the human body. We currently operate one exhibition known as Bodies Revealed and four exhibitions known as Bodies...The Exhibition. We plan to present at least one additional anatomy-based exhibition in the future. Bodies Revealed debuted in August 2004 in Blackpool, England, and was the first non-Titanic exhibition that we have produced. Bodies Revealed opened in Seoul, South Korea in March 2005 and in Mexico City, Mexico in March 2006. The first Bodies...The Exhibition opened in Tampa, Florida in August 2005 and the second exhibition opened in New York City in November 2005. The third Bodies...the Exhibition opened in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2006 and the fourth Bodies...The Exhibition opened in London, England in April 2006.
Our executive offices are located at 3340 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 2250, Atlanta, Georgia 30326 and our telephone number is (404) 842-2600. We are a Florida corporation and maintain web sites located at www.prxi.com, www.rmstitanic.net, www.titanicscience.com, www.bodiesrevealed.com, and www.bodiestheexhibition.com.
Exhibitions Operated by the Company
RMS Titanic Exhibitions
Our Titanic exhibitions have been exhibited in more than forty venues throughout the world, including the United States, France, Greece, Japan, Switzerland, Chile, Argentina, China and England. The following lists our Titanic exhibition locations and dates during our fiscal year ended February 28, 2006:
|||Whitaker Center, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (June 4 to September 18, 2005);|
|||Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, Maryland (February 12 to September 11, 2005);|
|||COSI Columbus, Columbus, Ohio (March 12 to September 5, 2005);|
|||Tropicana Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada (March 25 to January 31, 2006);|
|||The Zappion, Athens, Greece (October 8 to March 1, 2006);|
|||St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri (November 11 to April 15, 2006);|
|||The AT Center, Seoul, South Korea (December 3 to March 1, 2006);|
|||Queen Mary, Long Beach, California (December 17 to September 4, 2006); and|
|||OshKosh Public Museum, OshKosh, Wisconsin (February 4 to April 30, 2006).|
The following lists our Titanic exhibition locations and dates that opened or are scheduled to open during our current fiscal year ending February 28, 2007:
|||Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium, Miami, Florida (March 25 to October 15, 2006);|
|||Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa (May 20 to August 20, 2006);|
|||The Metreon, San Francisco, California (June 10 to January 2007); and|
|||The Tropicana Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada (opening June 2006).|
We anticipate opening additional Titanic exhibitions during fiscal year 2007. Due to the uncertainties involved in the development and setup of exhibitions, the opening dates may vary and the exhibit locations may be change.
Bodies...The Exhibition and Bodies Revealed Exhibitions
We are using our experience in the exhibition business to conduct exhibitions not related to the Titanic. In March 2005, we acquired 100% of the membership interests in Exhibitions International, LLC, which ultimately enabled us to gain multi-year licenses and exhibition rights to multiple human anatomy exhibitions, each of which contains a collection of at least twenty whole human body specimens plus at least one hundred and fifty single human organs and body parts. We are already in possession of five sets of medical specimens, one of which is known as Bodies Revealed and four of which are known as Bodies...The Exhibition. We acquired the rights to produce these exhibitions through separate exhibition agreements, each of which is for a five-year term, with the right to extend these agreements for up to five additional years at our election. We expect to acquire an additional collection of human anatomy specimens in fiscal year ending February 28, 2007.
These specimens are assembled into anatomy-based exhibitions featuring preserved human bodies, and offer the public an opportunity to view the intricacies and complexities of the human body. The exhibitions include displays of dissected human bodies kept from decaying through a process called polymer preservation, also known as plastination. In essence, the bodies are drained of all fat and fluids, which are replaced with polymers such as silicone rubber, epoxy and polyester. This keeps the flesh from decaying and maintains its natural look. Skin from the bodies is removed, or partially removed, to reveal muscular, nervous, circulatory, reproductive or digestive systems. The full body specimens are complimented by presentation cases of related individual organs, both healthy and diseased, that provide a detailed look into the elements that comprise each system.
Bodies Revealed debuted in August 2004 in Blackpool, England and was the first non-Titanic exhibition that we produced. We expanded our human anatomy exhibition business by creating two additional exhibitions known as Bodies...The Exhibition. The first opened in Tampa, Florida in August 2005 and the second in New York City in November 2005. The following lists our Bodies...The Exhibition and Bodies Revealed exhibition locations during our fiscal year ended February 28, 2006:
|||Bodies Revealed, Samsungs Everland Theme Park, Seoul, South Korea (March to November 2005);|
|||Bodies...The Exhibition, Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa, Florida (August 18 to February 26, 2006, extended to September 5, 2006); and|
|||Bodies...The Exhibition, South Street Seaport, New York, New York (November 19 to December 2006).|
The following lists our Bodies...The Exhibition and Bodies Revealed exhibition locations during our current fiscal year ending February 28, 2007:
|||Bodies...The Exhibition, Atlanta Civic Center, Atlanta, Georgia (March 4 to September 4, 2006);|
|||Bodies Revealed, Mexico City, Mexico (March 11 to September 11, 2006); and|
|||Bodies...The Exhibition, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England (April 12 to July 30, 2006).|
We anticipate opening additional Bodies...The Exhibition and Bodies Revealed exhibitions during our fiscal year ending February 28, 2007. Due to the uncertainties involved in the development and setup of exhibitions, the opening dates may vary and the exhibit locations may be change.
In April, 2005 we entered into an agreement with SAM Tour (USA), Inc. under which we agreed to work with SAM Tour to jointly produce human anatomy exhibitions. With SAM Tour, we will jointly present up to twelve human anatomy exhibitions entitled Bodies...The Exhibition and/or Bodies Revealed. With the limited exception of our human anatomy exhibition currently underway in London, England, the agreement stipulates mutual exclusivity. According to our agreement, we are responsible for producing the design, providing the exhibitry and providing the specimens necessary for each exhibition, while SAM Tour is financially responsible for the marketing, promotion, publicity, advertising and operation of such exhibitions. Under the agreement, SAM Tour finances the initial startup costs of each exhibition and we provide the exhibition expertise, exhibitry and specimens required for each exhibition. Under the agreement, SAM Tour initially recoups its investment, which includes the initial startup costs, all marketing and operating costs, and a license fee paid to us. The profits from each exhibition are then split equally between SAM Tour and us until the parties earn certain agreed upon amounts. Thereafter, additional profits are calculated on a graduated scale with ratios that increasingly favor us.
We opened our first exhibition in partnership with SAM Tour in Tampa, Florida in August 2005. We opened our second exhibition in New York, New York in November 2005. In March 2006, we opened both our third exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia and our fourth exhibition in Mexico City, Mexico.
We intend to develop and present new exhibitions in the future, as well as additional exhibitions related to the Titanic and human anatomy.
Titanic Donation Initiative
In keeping with our desire to conserve Titanic artifacts for history and keep the collection of artifacts together, we are exploring the possibility of selling or donating our Titanic artifacts to a charitable institution. Doing so might also be in our best financial interests, as it could clarify and finalize the ownership of certain artifacts. In the event we sell or donate Titanic artifacts, we will seek a long-term lease back arrangement from the recipient of the artifacts which would enable us to continue our Titanic exhibitions.
We earn revenue from the sale of merchandise, such as catalogs, posters and Titanic-related jewelry. We have a contractual relationship with Event Management, Inc., which is an unaffiliated company that operates gift shops at exhibitions and other locations. Event Management sells our merchandise at exhibitions, as well as through its web site and its other distribution channels. In connection with these sales, we receive 30% of the gross sale proceeds. We also receive license fees from Event Management for the use of our names and logos. We also sell merchandise directly to the public, and we plan to begin distributing a catalog of our merchandise in the near future, with the hope that we can develop new revenue streams from the sales of
merchandise through catalogs. Finally, we have produced high quality, high content exhibition catalogs, which we sell at our exhibitions through Event Management.
We have developed several retail products utilizing coal recovered from the Titanic, which has been incorporated into jewelry. We intend to continue developing such products to increase our merchandising revenues. We also intend to pursue the direct marketing of merchandise and our video archives through our web site and through third parties.
With the depth of the Titanic wreck approximately two and one-half miles below the surface of the ocean in the North Atlantic, we are dependent upon chartering vessels outfitted with highly advanced deep sea technology in order to conduct expeditions to the wreck site. In our 1987, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1998 expeditions, we entered into charter agreements with IFREMER, pursuant to which IFREMER supplied the crew and equipment necessary to conduct research and recovery efforts. In addition to utilization of the research vessel Nadir, recovery efforts were undertaken through the manned submersible Nautile. Small, hard-to -reach areas necessary for visual reconnaissance efforts were accessed by a small robot, known as Robin, controlled by crewmen on board the Nautile. The dive team had the capability of retrieving both heavy objects, such as a lifeboat davit weighing approximately 4,000 pounds, and fragile objects weighing only a few ounces. Because of the immense pressure of approximately 6,000 pounds per square inch at the depth of the wreck site, it is impossible for a dive team to reach such depths and explore the wreck site through any means other than a submersible or a remotely operated vehicle. The Nautile and Robin were each equipped with video and still cameras that recorded all recovery and exploration efforts. In connection with our 1987, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2004 expeditions to the wreck site, we engaged maritime scientists and other professional experts to assist in the exploration and recovery efforts.
Our ability to conduct expeditions to the Titanic has been subject to the availability of necessary research and recovery vessels and equipment for chartering by us from June to September, which is the open weather window for such activities. Research and recovery efforts with a manned submersible are presently limited to the availability and the co-operation with the Nautile through charter arrangements with IFREMER and MIR I and MIR II using charter arrangements with P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. To our knowledge, no other manned submersible with the capability of reaching the depth of the Titanic is presently commercially available, however there are a number of remotely operated vehicles available for hire. Based upon our experience with the 2004 expedition, remotely operated vehicles are a viable and more efficient alternative to manned submersibles. The availability of remotely operated vehicles has substantially increased our flexibility in chartering for future expeditions.
Restoration and Conservation of Titanic Artifacts
Upon recovery from the Titanic wreck site, artifacts are in varying states of deterioration and fragility. Having been submerged in the depths of the ocean for more than 90 years, objects have been subjected to the corrosive effects of chlorides present in seawater. The restoration of many of the metal, leather and paper artifacts requires the application of sophisticated electrolysis and other electrochemical techniques. Some of the artifacts recovered from the 1987 expedition were restored and conserved by the laboratories of Electricite de France, a French government-owned utility. Except for un-restored artifacts that are currently being exhibited, many of the artifacts recovered from the 1987, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1998 expeditions have undergone conservation processes at LP3, a privately-owned conservation laboratory in Semur-en-Auxois, France. When not being exhibited or not being conserved at other conservation facilities, almost all of our Titanic artifacts are housed in our conservation and warehouse facility located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Science and Archaeology Related to the Titanic
The Titanic was a great luxury liner, which bequeathed to the world a classic story of tragedy at sea. Today, this shipwreck is treated as an archaeological site, historic structure, attraction for adventure tourism, ecological phenomenon, international memorial, and as valuable property to be recovered and shared with humanity. With the exception of adventure tourism, we believe that all of these purposes are legitimate and beneficial to society. We also believe that the multiple values of the Titanic and its status as a social and cultural icon demand the perspectives of many experts in scientific interpretation and stewardship of the site.
We believe we are in the best position to provide for archaeological survey, scientific interpretation and stewardship of the Titanic shipwreck. We possess the largest collection of data, information, images, and cultural materials associated with the shipwreck. We have developed a partnership with the Center for Maritime & Underwater Resource Management, a nonprofit corporation, for services in archaeology, scientific research, and resource management to aid in stewardship of the Titanic wreck site.
We hope to work with the U.S. government and the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology to present our collection of knowledge and cultural materials to researchers, educators, and other audiences in the form of scientific reports, an associated interactive web site, and other intellectual products that advance our purposes. Revenues from the sale of these intellectual products are expected to at least meet the total production costs. The scientific reports will integrate the results of all expeditions to the Titanic wreck site since its discovery. In addition, the publication will include the first comprehensive site plan of the Titanic, which will assist in determining future products in research, materials conservation and education. The interactive web site will present this scientific knowledge as well as its entire collection of cultural materials.
In May 2001, we acquired ownership of the wreck of the Carpathia, which was sunk by a German torpedo during World War I off the coast of Ireland. The Carpathia rescued more than 700 of the Titanics survivors in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. In November 2005, we sold a 3% ownership interest in the RMS Carpathia to Legal Access Technologies, Inc. We reflected this transaction as a gain on the sale of the Carpathia interest of $459,000 during the quarter ended November 30, 2005. As part of this same transaction, we also granted Legal Access Technologies, Inc. a twenty-five year license to conduct joint exploration and salvage expeditions to the Carpathia. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Legal Access Technologies, Inc. was obligated to make the following scheduled payments to us: (i) $100,000 on December 12, 2005; and (ii) $400,000 on February 15, 2006. The $100,000 payment was collateralized with 1,400,000 shares of Legal Access Technologies, Inc.s common stock, which satisfied its obligation to make the first payment. Legal Access Technologies, Inc. failed to make the second scheduled payment and, on April 3, 2006, we terminated our agreement with Legal Access Technologies, Inc. In accordance with the agreement, we retained the collateral in the form of Legal Access Technologies, Inc.s common stock. As a result of this default and our subsequent termination of the agreement, we reversed the gain of $459,000 net of the gain from the retention of the marketable securities of $168,000 that was recognized during our quarter ended November 30, 2005. At present we have no plans to conduct an expedition to the Carpathia.
The entertainment and exhibition industries are intensely competitive. Given our limited capital resources, there can be no assurances that we will be able to compete effectively. Many enterprises with which we compete or may compete have substantially greater resources than we do. Additionally, following the success of the motion picture Titanic in 1997, a number of entities have undertaken, or announced an intention, to offer exhibitions or events with the Titanic theme or involving memorabilia related to its sinking. Although we are the only entity that exhibits artifacts recovered from the wreck site of the Titanic, we may encounter competition for Titanic exhibitions or events. We intend to compete with other entities based upon the mass appeal of our planned exhibitions to consumers of entertainment, museum, scientific and educational offerings, and the quality and value of the entertainment experience. We intend to emphasize the unique and distinctive perspective of the Titanic in our exhibitions.
In addition, we compete with other human anatomy exhibitions that are similar to ours. We believe we have certain competitive advantages over this competition because our exhibitions focus on a unique educational approach. Our experience in the exhibition industry has enabled us to present an exhibition with mass appeal to consumers of entertainment, museum, scientific and educational offerings, and these consumers recognize the quality and value of the educational experience of our exhibitions.
The success of our merchandising efforts will depend largely upon the consumer appeal of our merchandise and the success of our exhibitions. We believe that our merchandise will effectively compete because of its unique character and quality.
We are subject to environmental laws and regulation by federal, state and local authorities in connection with our planned exhibition activities. We do not anticipate that the costs to comply with such laws and regulations will have any material effect on our capital expenditures, earnings, or competitive position.
As of the date of this report we had 34 full-time employees. We are not a party to any collective bargaining agreement and we believe that our relations with our employees are good.
Directors and Executive Officers
The following table sets forth information about our directors, executive officers and significant employees as of the date of this report.
|65||President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors|
|36||Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Director|
N. Nick Cretan
|34||Vice President Exhibitions|
|36||Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel|
Members of the Board of Directors
There are five members of our board of directors, three of whom are independent under applicable legal standards. Biographical information about each of our directors is set forth below.
Arnie Geller is the chairman of the Board of Directors, and he also serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Geller has served as a director since May 1999, and he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors in October 2005. Mr. Geller served as our President from May 1993 to May 1995, and he was reappointed as our President in November 1999 and has continued to serve us in that capacity ever since. Prior to 1993, for approximately 27 years Mr. Geller had principally been engaged in various executive capacities in the record industry. Mr. Geller was a self-employed corporate consultant prior to his reappointment as our president in 1999.
Stephen Couture joined the Board of Directors in February 2006, and he also serves as our Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Since 1996, Mr. Couture has been a partner and principal in Couture &
Company, Inc., a private corporate financial consulting firm formed in 1973 by his late father. As a partner and principal of Couture & Company, Inc., Mr. Couture has been involved in public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital transactions, reorganizations and the financial management of a number of growth enterprises. In such capacity, Mr. Couture has also provided financial management services to a diversified group of clients in the manufacturing, logistics, distribution, exhibition, entertainment, retail, service, product development and high technology sectors. Mr. Couture holds a B.S. degree in Management Systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and M.B.A. degrees from The University of Tampa in both Finance and Accounting.
N. Nick Cretan
N. Nick Cretan, who is one of our independent directors, has served as a director since April 2000. Mr. Cretan has more than 30 years of management experience, including his experience as Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey, which is a trade association to develop and promote the Port of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Cretan retired from this position in 2004. He also serves as President of Friends of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Foundation, President of Friends of Gateway National Parks Foundation and as Executive Director of the American Merchant Marine Memorial Foundation. Previously, he served as deputy director of the San Francisco Marine Exchange and as staff assistant at the National Federation of Independent Business.
Douglas Banker, one of our independent directors, has served as a director since August 2000. Mr. Banker has more than 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry that includes providing management services to musicians and recording artists; marketing, merchandising, licensing, and sales of music media products; and the development and management of concerts and similar events. Mr. Banker also has authored several significant software programs that have achieved commercial success and has been involved with the management of the enterprises created for their commercialization. Mr. Banker was President of the Board of the Motor City Music Foundation in Detroit, Michigan from 1996 to 2000.
Alan Reed, who is one of our independent directors, was appointed to the Board of Directors in February 2006 to fill an existing vacancy. Mr. Reed is the founder of Reed Financial Corporation, a firm created in 2002 to provide accounting and business advisory services. From 1983 to 2002, Mr. Reed was President of Alan B. Reed, CPA, P.C., an accounting firm specializing in the entertainment industry. From 1983 to 1993, Mr. Reed was president of Personal Business Management Services, Inc., a company that managed federally insured credit unions. Mr. Reed worked as a senior accountant with the firm of Zeiderman & Edelstein, P.C. in New York City from 1980 to 1982. From 1979 to 1980, Mr. Reed was a junior accountant with the entertainment accounting firm of Gelfand Bresslauer Rennert & Feldman in New York City. Mr. Reed graduated from Boston University, with a B.S. degree in accounting in 1979.
Executive Officers and Significant Employees
No family relationship exists between or among any of the members of our board of directors or executive officers. None our directors are directors of any other company having a class of equity securities registered under or required to file periodic reports pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or any company registered as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Biographical information about each of our executive officers is set forth below.
Arnie Geller, President and Chief Executive Officer
Arnie Geller serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer. Further information about Mr. Geller is set forth above under Members of the Board of Directors.
Stephen Couture, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Stephen Couture serves as our Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Further information about Mr. Couture is set forth above under Members of the Board of Directors.
Tom Zaller, Vice President Exhibitions
Tom Zaller has served as our Vice President Exhibitions since August 2003. Mr. Zaller has more than 10 years experience in the production of exhibitions both internationally and domestically. Prior to his joining us, Mr. Zaller was Vice President for production at Clear Channel International Exhibitions for two years, where he collaborated on the development, design and production of numerous Clear Channel exhibitions that were shown internationally. While he was with Clear Channel, Mr. Zaller was production manager for Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, which included twenty domestic and nine foreign exhibitions. More than 13 million visitors viewed these exhibitions worldwide. Prior to holding such position with Clear Channel, Mr. Zaller served in similar capacities with predecessor companies of Clear Channel.
Brian Wainger, Chief Legal Counsel and Vice President Business Affairs
Brian Wainger has served as our Chief Legal Counsel and Vice President Business Affairs since June 2004. He became our acting secretary in July 2005. Before joining our company, Mr. Wainger worked as an attorney at the law firm of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he specialized in complex commercial litigation and represented us in a now settled shareholder derivative action. Before his employment at McGuireWoods, Mr. Wainger served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Web Site Information and Other Access to Corporate Documents
Our corporate web site is www.prxi.com. All of our Annual Reports on Form 10-Ks, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Qs and Current Reports on Form 8-Ks, and amendments to such reports are available on this web site as soon as practicable after they have been filed with the SEC. In addition, our corporate governance guidelines and the charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee are available on our web site. If you would like us to mail you a copy of our corporate governance guidelines or any of our committee charters, please contact Investor Relations, Premier Exhibitions, Inc., 3340 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 2250, Atlanta, Georgia 30326.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Our business and operations are subject to numerous risks, some of which are described below and elsewhere in this report. If any of the risks described below should be realized, our business and results of operation could be harmed. Additional risks and uncertainties that are not currently known to us, or which we currently deem to be immaterial, could also harm our business and results of operations.
Until recently, we have had a history of operating losses, and there is no assurance that we will continue to achieve profitability in the future.
We have a history of operating losses. Only recently have we begun to achieve profitability. We cannot predict if we will continue to be profitable. It is uncertain if our future prospects will result in profitable operations and, if we experience future losses, the value of an investment in our common stock could decline significantly.
Our future operating results will depend on our ability to successfully implement our new business strategy, which in turn depends on many factors, some of which are beyond our control.
We are in the process of changing our business strategy in order to become a general exhibition company. Previously, we relied on third parties to produce our exhibitions, and we limited our exhibition to displays of Titanic artifacts. However, we are now the sole producers of our Titanic exhibitions, and we no longer rely on third parties for the production of these exhibitions. Moreover, we have expanded our exhibitions beyond those related to the Titanic to include human anatomy exhibitions. Our future operating results will depend on our
ability to successfully implement our new business strategy. We believe that our ability to do so will depend on many factors, some of which we believe are beyond our control, including:
|||our ability to continue to exhibit Titanic artifacts;|
|||our ability to develop new exhibitions that the public will attend;|
|||our ability to operate our exhibitions profitably;|
|||the continued popularity of and public demand for Titanic exhibitions; and|
|||continued public demand for historical and scientific exhibitions.|
We may be unable to raise additional capital when needed, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and our ability to conduct our operations.
If we are unable to generate sufficient revenue for our planned operations, or if we encounter unforeseen costs, we will need to raise additional capital. We can give no assurances that additional capital will be available to us on favorable terms, or at all. Our inability to obtain additional capital, if and when needed, would have a material adverse effect upon our financial condition and our ability to continue to conduct our operations.
We may not be granted a salvage award that is commensurate with the efforts we have expended to recover items from the Titanic wreck site or may be prohibited from exhibiting certain Titanic artifacts already under our control.
We own 1,800 artifacts recovered during the 1987 expedition to the Titanic. At a future date, however, a trial may be held in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to determine whether a salvage award to compensate us for our efforts in recovering the remaining artifacts from all other expeditions will be in cash or in kind. This means the outcome of the salvage award trial is uncertain at this time. It is possible that we may not be granted a salvage award that is commensurate with our recovery efforts. It is also possible that the court will take possession of certain of the artifacts, which would affect the way we conduct certain exhibitions. These outcomes may have a material adverse effect on our operations, which, in turn, may reduce the value of an investment in our common stock.
If we are unable to maintain our salvor-in -possession rights to the Titanic wreck and wreck site, we could lose our exclusivity with respect to exhibiting artifacts recovered from the Titanic
As recently as January 31, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recognized that we are the exclusive salvor-in -possession of the Titanic wreck and wreck site. Salvor-in -possession status enables us
to prevent certain third parties from salvaging the Titanic wreck and wreck site and from interfering with our rights to salvage the wreck and wreck site. To maintain our salvor-in -possession rights, we must maintain a presence over the wreck by making periodic expeditions to the wreck site. In addition, we may have to commence legal proceedings against third parties who attempt to violate our rights as salvor-in -possession, which may be expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, there are no assurances that the court will continue to recognize us as the sole and exclusive salvor-in -possession of the Titanic wreck and wreck site.
Our exhibitions are becoming subject to increasing competition.
We believe that our Titanic exhibition business is changing. For example, an adverse ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit stripped us of our exclusive right to photograph and film the Titanic wreck site. Because of this ruling, other companies can now photograph and film the Titanic wreck site, which exposes us to new competition that could, for example, result in our losing documentary opportunities. Moreover, it is possible that other companies may attempt to explore the Titanic wreck site in the future. If these companies were successful, we would face increased competition. Additionally, the availability of remotely operated vehicles for charter from third parties to conduct expeditions may make it easier for others to gain access to the Titanic site in violation of our salvor-in -possession rights. These changes, as well as others, such as new laws and treaties or new interpretations of existing laws or treaties, could have a material adverse affect on our business.
In addition, our Bodies...The Exhibition and Bodies Revealed exhibitions are subject to competition from other exhibition vendors. To the extent other exhibition companies are successful at marketing and promoting competing exhibitions that are perceived more favorably than our exhibitions by the public, there could be a material adverse affect on our business.
We depend upon third parties to provide us with access to the Titanic wreck site, as well as to assist us with our recovery and restoration activities. If we become unable to obtain these services from such third parties, we would not be able to conduct future expeditions to the Titanic wreck site and consequently our ability to produce new Titanic exhibitions would be severely curtailed.
We do not own the equipment necessary to access the Titanic wreck site. Instead, each time we desire to undertake an expedition to the Titanic wreck site, we charter the necessary equipment and personnel for the expedition from third parties. Similarly, we utilize the services of third parties for recovery, restoration and preservation services. Because we lack the direct capability to independently access the Titanic wreck site, we contract with providers of these services. We therefore face the risk of being unable to access the Titanic wreck site or being unable to obtain necessary services when needed. These circumstances could arise if our third party providers charge more for their services, exit the business of providing the services, or are unable to, or refuse to, provide the services to us at prices that we are willing to pay. If we were unable to obtain necessary services from third parties, we would be unable to conduct future expeditions to the Titanic wreck site and consequently our ability to produce new Titanic exhibitions would be severely curtailed.
Because we depend on discretionary spending by consumers to generate revenue, if consumers have less discretionary income to spend or decide to attend competing exhibitions rather than ours, our results of operations would be adversely affected.
The amount spent by consumers on discretionary items, such as entertainment activities and the purchase of merchandise, depends on their level of discretionary income, which may be adversely affected by general or local economic conditions. We believe the consumers primarily attend our exhibitions for entertainment. Accordingly, if consumers have less discretionary income to spend because of poor economic conditions, we believe they will be less likely to attend our exhibitions and purchase our merchandise.
Consumers may decide that competing exhibitions are more appealing and, consequently, they may not attend our exhibitions. To date, we have had success exhibiting Titanic artifacts. There can be no assurance, however, that consumers will continue to be interested in viewing the Titanic or human anatomy exhibitions
that we conduct, or that we will be able to present new, alternative exhibitions that consumers will find appealing.
We are subject to currency exchange rate fluctuations, which negatively affect our results of operations.
Our exhibitions tour outside the U.S. from time to time and our financial arrangements with our foreign vendors have historically been based upon foreign currencies. As a result, we are exposed to the risk of currency fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and the currencies of the countries in which our exhibitions are touring. If the value of the U.S. dollar increases in relation to these foreign currencies, our potential revenues from exhibition and merchandising activities outside the U.S. would be lowered and our results of operations could be harmed.
Our success depends on the services of our executive officers and key employees and the loss of their services could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We believe that our future success depends to a significant degree on the skills and efforts of Arnie Geller, our chief executive officer; Stephen Couture, our vice president and chief financial officer; Tom Zaller, our vice president exhibitions; and Brian Wainger, our chief legal counsel and vice president business affairs. If we lose the services of Messrs. Geller, Couture, Zaller or Wainger, our business and operating results could be adversely affected.
We may be unable to hire and retain the skilled personnel we need to expand our operations and, as a result, could lose our competitive position.
To meet our growth objectives and become a general exhibition company, we must attract and retain skilled technical, operational, managerial and sales and marketing personnel. If we fail to attract and retain the necessary personnel, we may be unable to achieve our business objectives and may lose our competitive position, which could lead to a significant decline in revenues. We face significant competition for these skilled professionals from other companies, research and academic institutions, government entities and other organizations.
New corporate governance requirements have increased our costs and make it more difficult to attract qualified directors.
We face new corporate governance requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission. These laws, rules and regulations have increased our legal and financial compliance costs and make some activities more difficult, time-consuming and costly. These new requirements also make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance. We may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur significantly higher costs to obtain coverage. These new requirements are also likely to make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve as members of our board of directors or committees of the board. Furthermore, as a result of the settlement agreements in connection with the lawsuits Lawrence DAddario v. Arnie Geller, Gerald Couture, Joe Marsh and R.M.S. Titanic, Inc. and Dave Shuttle and Barbara Shuttle v. Arnie Geller, G. Michael Harris, Gerald Couture, and R.M.S. Titanic, Inc. , as discussed below in Item 3 of this report, we will also be required to incur significant additional costs to comply with the corporate governance standards upon which we have agreed to settle those cases. Those costs could also have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS