MoviePass parent says it may sell up to $1.2B in equity and debt to finance operations and growth

The all-you-can watch movie theatre subscription service MoviePass, now with 3 million paying users, continues to burn through cash, and today its majority owner announced one more way it might continue to finance operations and its growth as some investors and observers raise questions about its financial future. Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (HMNY), which owns 92 percent of the shares of MoviePass, has filed an S-3 universal shelf registration statement to sell up to $1.2 billion in equity and debt securities over three years from the statement’s approval by the SEC.

This comes on the heels of the company issuing $164 million in convertible notes last month through the issuance of 20,000 extra shares.

To be clear, this is not a $1.2 billion raise. A shelf registration does not tie HMNY to any specific offerings, but it gives the group another flexible way of raising cash to finance operations and to invest in growth.

In addition to its majority ownership of MoviePass, HMNY has a movie investment subsidiary called MoviePass Ventures, an original content production operation called MoviePass Films, and Moviefone, which it acquired from TechCrunch’s parent Oath for up to $23 million (making Oath a shareholder in the company).

“HMNY will have the flexibility to publicly offer and sell from time to time common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, subscription rights, units or any combination of such securities,” the company notes in a statement.

“HMNY may periodically offer one or more of these securities in amounts, at prices and on terms announced, if and when the securities are ever offered. The specific terms of any potential future offerings, along with the intended use of proceeds of any such securities offered by HMNY, will be described in a prospectus supplement at the time of any such offering.”

It notes that it will still need to get stockholder approval for increasing its authorized common stock, or combining any outstanding common stock.

MoviePass and its owner have been through a rollercoaster in the last many months, with HMNY stock dropping precipitously on the back of negative prognostications about its finances. From a 52-week high of $38.86/share, it’s currently at $0.31 — a 99.2 percent drop.

Notwithstanding the economics of the all-you-can-eat business model — which providers users with movie passes to some 91 percent of all US cinemas in exchange for a flat fee, a model that has proven challenging for margins in many industries — the company’s flagship business, MoviePass, has also been through the ringer for how it handles user privacy.

Still, at a time when many consumers are opting to watch movies at home through services like Netflix and others, MoviePass represents a potential route for driving more people back into cinemas. The company says that it’s on track to pass 5 million users by the end of this year, and that it currently accounts for five percent of all U.S. box office receipts on average, with peaks of eight percent in some weeks, and 30 percent for specific movies when they are advertised on the company’s app.