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IDWM - IDW Media Holdings Inc.


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A shrewd value investor has detailed this IDWM (spinoff of IDT). There is also a writeup on VIC.


Looks like the Company is trading at 4-5x 2017 EBIT. Listed on pink sheets, no research coverage, etc.


Seems like there was a press release several months ago about uplisting to major exchange which could be a catalyst.


Founder sold a similar company he started from scratch to John Malone...Could also be potential exit...


Pretty compelling idea.


See attached letter for context.


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Had the company in my portfolio under it s old name "CTM media holding". Bought in the 40s and sold last year with an 400 to 500% gain.


Have not looked into the business for the last quarters.



I think the brochure business has a moat. The problem is" will brochures become lesser and lesser relevant". It s a moat business , but hard to say if their mix with digital terminals and paper brochures will work in the end or if technology disrupts it.




The comicbook business is a business with scale :) The problem is the overall market is relative small. I think the biggest part of the comic business are big IPs from major companies. Star Trek, Transformers, My Little Pony (they sold over a million copies of issue 1), GI Joe...


The problem is a) will they be able to attract enough good IPs in the future ; b) will the popularity of My Little Pony last. This is the problem with these IPs, they are very cyclical in their popularity.


The same goes for things like board games and so on.


I think they were the lucky to be a small independent publisher. Disney owns Marvel and Warner owns DC, so the other big IP Owners go with one of the small Publishers.



The business was very cheap two or three years ago. But i sold because i don t want to own a business like that at a high valueation, because i think the entertaiment part is to dependent on factors it can not control. As i see most of their sales come from IPs of other (much bigger )companies.

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I think you are correct that there is a moat in the brochure/billboard business. In fact, the Company just signed a joint venture with their biggest competitor certified folder display which could be a segue into acquring them. While the overall market may be small it may just be the thing to get a merger thru HSR and controlling 80 pct of the market. The business already has good pricing power. Imagine what its like when they control 80 pct of the market?


On the liscenced side of the Comic books, I think that is a good source of proven cash flow and allows them other opportunities to create addtional commercial opportunities like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Board game or X- Files game. I also think the depth and breadth of the business also creates a higher likelihood of creators to do joint ventures with the Company so they can insource new content ala Joe Hill / Locke and Key.


The Entertainment business to us is a free option. They are putting up very little capital, utilizing foreign tax credits, and syndicating the funding gap to get TV Shows on the air. In the event one of the tv shows its off to the races...Even if it flops, it still creates larger awareness for the related comic book / graphic novel and prob leads to some cross selling in the core business either way....


At 8x 2015 EBIT and substantially less in 16/17 as the tv shows / board games ramp, it seems like a pretty compelling value when you factor in managements history of value creation.

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The Company is using kickstarter to fund the the growth of their board games division. We find this brilliant.... They sell no equity. Figure out what the customer wants and its found money!


The Company could begin funding its TV Shows a similar way down the road. They are already doing it in a very low risk/low cost way. I dont see any reason why they couldnt do it here also?



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Raising money to fund Tvshows or movies through crowdfunding is a tough endeavor. I dunno if you can get enough people to do it. Funding for web-series or short films could work but trying to do a major film(even if it's indie) or TV show would be tough. I think a great opportunity is to get a deal from Netflix, Hulu, or amazon. Those guys could have interest in their content.

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There was an contract with Microsoft for the Xbox film division to produce Winterworld.


The IDW Ceo (the comic division) is very good. He build the business from scratch.


The problem is everything in the entertainment space is "groundbreaking", "award-winning". I m sceptical without numbers for new projects and deals.


I think i must dig deeper again. For me it was just an deep value play which become more to fair value.

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We agree. Ted is very good, has a huge depth of relationships, and definitely built this business from scratch.


I think what differentiates Ted (and Jonas to some degree) is that they are very focused on current cash flows while balancing accumulating call options. IDW's historical business model was to acquire IP on a liscenced basis - trasnformers, gi joe, my little pony, etc. do really great work for these companies on the comic book side and expand the relationship. IDW is now doing these Star Wars Micropaks for Disney/Marvel that include a small comic book, 3d glasses, toy, poster, etc. IDW has proven to be an incredibly commercial operator that is dynamic in their ability to source new horizontal streams of cash flow.


For example, IDW Games was launched last year and in the 4th quarter is already run-rating $5mm of EBITDA. What can that business become? We think the consumer demand there is hugely prevalent as evidenced by recent commentary by Hasbro and the recent 500k crowd funding for the TMNT board game.


Just anecdotaly, I interact with alot of families who are making their kids play board / card games because the iPad is so anti social. We actually believe that because of all the video games, ipad, tv, kids are watching there is an even greater effort for parents to have children engage with this type of media. It also is very engaging for adults after dinner parties/nites in. We found ourselves playing cards against humanity which is an incredibly fun game all nite several weeks ago. This could be a very big business and could also segue into other segments that we see like "smart toys". We are particulary excited about the upcoming Godfather card game... Maybe at some point some of these content owners let us do their iPad/iPhone games as well? The new TMNT video game is based on the IDW comic book universe and is done in "comic form"...


But beyond games and toys which we think is consistent with growing an intergrated media business with consistent cash flow --- something almost every one of these companies lack now !!!, we think their TV / Film strategy is unique.


These guys are not trying to be eveything for everyone. We recognize that there is a lot of new content that everyone is calling groundbreaking, etc. We also do not believe we are in a "content bubble".  Given the increased mediums of distribution - internet, apple, nflx, hulu,amzn, etc. + INTERNATIONAL which is far behind us, we think over time demand for content will increase secularly. Its impossible to argue that it wont.


But what I think IDW is doign uniquely is that A) they are financing/producing their shows  in a very cost effective way in low cost countries with tax credits, syndicating funding cap, etc. but B) not trying to do super mainstream stuff to compete with everyone else. They are sticking to their core competency. Smart, intellectual stuff, with a SciFi bend that has an incumbent niche/follower audience. The Company is staying true to their strategy. As opposed to going to major networks they are doing SyFy, USA, BBC, which has a loyal fan base , tends to run shows for longer, and creates a higher likelihood of producing steady cash flows for a number of seasons. If the media does well they still have the call optionality that comes from bringing that media onto AMZN,NFLX,Hulu, Apple, etc.


We think this management team has always done things thoughtfully and believe we are getting a nice stable cash flowing business at a good price which is also growing quite nicely....while getting a safe strategy in entertainment for free.

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We continue to believe this IDW Games business is a complete sleeper. It is already doing 5mm in run-rate sales in less than a year. We think this a huge potential market as evidenced by the consumer demand.


IDW recently completed this last kickstarter campaign. Almost 1mm raised for a single board game...




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Another interesting feature of this investment is the dividend which is rather uncommon for a growth/media company like this..


The Company pays .65 which is essentially a 3 percent yield. The company has steadily increased its dividend over the years as its two steady businesses have grown. IDT pays a dividend as well and recently announced that they are moving forward with their spin-off of Zedge. Zedge is a mobile app that IDT incubated in house that is now run-rating 6.5mm of EBITDA and one of the top downloaded apps on the app store.


The Jonas'/IDTs track record of creating value from nothing/incubating small businesses like these has been pretty awesome in recent years...


Makes sense that IDWM would follow suit...

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Howard Jonas's comments about John Malone are pretty amazing.. Why couldn't John take a stake in this again?


Below is part of press release from when Howard sold IDT Entertainment to Liberty.


LIBERTY MEDIA TO ACQUIRE IDT ENTERTAINMENT; Starz's top premium television service to join with IDT's animation and live action production and home entertainment distribution business. Combined company will produce content for all distribution platforms.


May 16, 2006 - Englewood, CO and Newark, NJ – May 16, 2006--- Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LINTA, LCAPA) and IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C) announced today that they have entered into a binding term sheet for the sale of IDT Entertainment to Liberty Media for all of Liberty Media's interests in IDT, $186 million in cash and the assumption of existing indebtedness. With this acquisition, Liberty Media's Starz Entertainment Group will have the capability to create a wide array of CG animated and live action programming for domestic and international distribution in all major channels, including broadcast syndication, premium television, theatrical, and home video/DVD.


Gregory B. Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, said "This transaction furthers our strategy of converting investments into strategic operating businesses that have synergies with our current companies. IDT Entertainment and Starz is a great combination. We have appreciated our long friendship with IDT and look forward to the next phase of our partnership."


"John Malone has been a great mentor and friend. I anticipate great things from our continuing business relationship," said Howard Jonas, IDT's Chairman.


"This is a union of two companies that have complementary strengths and share the entrepreneurial spirit essential for success in the rapidly changing world of video production and distribution," said SEG President and CEO Robert B. Clasen. "With the addition of the dynamic, creative team at IDT Entertainment, our company will be positioned to capitalize fully on the opportunities afforded by the new era of content."


See full press release here:



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Lionsgate launch ComicCon channel in May. Certainly looks like an additional portal to sell content into above and beyond Amazon, NFLX, iTunes, normal carriage, et al....


Importantly, shows LionsGate commitment / desire to explore / harvest comic book content. We think LionsGate could be a natural acquiror based on their Canada domicile and IDW's desire to utilize Canadian production/tax credits...



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Hi whatdadil9,


Just reading through your comments and the ADW Q415 letter that provides some more context to the company.


Do you have a sense of the sales / EBITDA contribution of the entertainment division - more specifically the economics of the three shows? Wondering if it is enough to move the dial in their own right or will need future seasons / a wider selection of shows to drive a materially higher EBITDA.

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Hi Aman-


As you can imagine every TV deal is structured differently. What I can tell you is that for non major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) like these 500k- 1mm per episode in revenues is not out of the ordinary. The margins are also very high. I encourage you to look at DHX Media for reference/comps. We think incremental EBITDA margins could be north of 50 percent maybe higher ---certainly at scale.


So to answer your question: Yes, these three shows should move EBITDA on a consolidated basis materially. There is also a cross selling opportunity in terms of the board game and graphic novel biz. In connection with the recently aired Wynonna Earp, the publishing arm is releasing new comic books and plans to release a new board game as well.


If you have ever invested in a "jonas" company you would know that these guys are intensely opportunistic and entrepreneurial. This Company is an interesting mix of current growing cash flow while seeding an increasing number of call options that can become recurring cash flow.


Valiant Entertainment raised substantial dollars at a 100mm premoney valuation at the corporate level with only a couple mm dollars of sales and negative profits. They have also yet to "air" any of their properties. If we assume that IDW Entertainment is worth at least what Valiant was valued at (Its worth more) than you are getting publishing and the other biz for free. Or said another way, if you eliminate corporate overhead and investment in entertainment the core biz more than covers today enterprise value -- you are getting entertainment for free....


We think there are a ton of ways to win here and these companies rarely stay independent forever.



Our guess is that in 2017 when the Conmpany has the entertainment EBITDA behind them the Company will pursue their previously announced uplist/get research coverage/pursue an IR campaign that will narrow the valuation discount...


Content still is king and these guys have a really nice growing library of it...

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DWA buyout at 40x EBITDA....




The reason there are not many direct comps is because these things dont usually stay public for that long...


Between this and Valiant Comics 100 pre money valuation with nothing...tells you what private market values are for these assets...

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Locke and Key is being made into a TV Show. Joe Hill is Stephen King's son and this is one of their landmark properties that has a real built in audience. Locke and Key was going to be made into a movie(s) by universal but new mgmt forced them to lose their option. This is great news and could carry the company...

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