IDW considering possible sale amid millions in losses

IDW Media Holdings has hired J.P. Morgan to explore future strategies for the company, including the possible sale of the company. This news comes just weeks after the IDW board and management received a letter from one of its largest shareholders, ADW Capital Partners, pushing for the sale of the company. ADW holds approximately a 9% stake in IDW.

The letter from ADW Capital painted a positive picture of IDW’s future and prospects for a successful sale. Despite being the fourth largest comic publisher (by dollar share), however, the letter also noted that “IDW has struggled to financially monetize its content,” and indicated that the value of IDW rests largely in turning their IPs into films and television shows.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed IDW over the past couple of years. The company has undergone several leadership shakeups following a set of public relations disasters in 2018, the most notable being IDW’s mismanagement of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe license. Even deals for other high-profile licenses including Sonic the Hedgehog and an all-ages line featuring Marvel characters hasn’t been enough to buoy the struggling comic book publisher.

To make matters worse, IDW’s 2018 annual report shows a $36 million loss, including a loss of $28.8 million in its fiscal Q4 alone, according to a breakdown by ICv2. The primary losses came from the entertainment divisions – including both publishing and TV programming – which together lost $21.8 million. IDW’s publishing division lost $3.4 million for the 2018 fiscal year, continuing its year-on-year decline since fiscal year 2016.

Wanna make a deal? If all of that sounds like a bargain, I hear that IDW has a bridge they’d like to sell you.

Source: Publishers Weekly

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