Creative Realities paid roughly $8.5 million last fall to buy Allure off of Christie Digital Systems, according to SEC quarterly report filings by CRI.
The new filings say Louisville, KY-based solutions provider CRI “acquired ownership of all of Allure’s issued and outstanding capital shares in consideration for a total purchase price of approximately $8,450,000 subject to a post-closing working capital adjustment. Of this purchase price amount, we paid $6,300,000 in cash. Of the remaining purchase price amount, approximately $1,250,000 is to be paid to former management of Allure, and approximately $900,000 due from Allure to the Seller, under an existing Seller Note which was amended and restated for this reduced amount.”
The filing goes on to mention all kinds of notes and stipulations, one saying CRI would pony up $2 million more to Christie if Allure-specific revenue goes past $13 million this year.
I did not miss my calling as a financial analyst, and these filings still mostly leave me cross-eyed and mightily confused. It starts by the numbers being reported in the thousands – so when you read $8,450, it means $8.45 million. I read that and at first thought, “Holy Crap CRI bought Allure for less than $8,500???”
Overall, CRI continues in turnaround mode from its days as the old CRI and the old Wireless Ronin, which was legendary for burning through investor money (about $100 million).
Says the quarterly report summary from CEO Rick Mills: “CRI achieved quarterly revenue in excess of $9 million for the second straight quarter. During the second quarter we improved margins resulting in record quarterly Adjusted EBITDA of $1.1 million on an operating profit of $0.5 million. Our results for the first half of 2019 provide evidence of both the Company’s strong market momentum and ability to produce further positive results through scale.”
Christie’s sale of Allure to CRI came just three years after it acquired the Atlanta-area, dining and cinema-focused company. The acquisition Allure made some sense at the time because both companies have deep ties into the move theater business, but rolling a small software and services company into a much larger company dominated by electronics hardware engineers was a tall order. Christie, at the same time, was creating, running and selling ads into media networks in cinema lobbies, which was way outside its core business.
The Japanese-owned but predominantly Canadian company has dropped those sidelines and is now squarely focused again on visual systems like projection and physical displays.
Weirdly, this is still the URL for Allure – http://allure-christie.com/digital-signage/
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.