November 3, 2009 / 10:30 PM / 8 years ago

Terminator movie franchise may go on auction block

<p>A robot from the movie is on display for the premier of the motion picture Terminator 3 "Rise of the Machines" June 30, 2003 in west Los Angeles. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The bankrupt company that owns the rights to the “Terminator” movie franchise is preparing to auction the rights next year and is already seeing strong interest, an advisor to the company said on Tuesday.

Halcyon Holding Group acquired the rights to the Terminator franchise in 2007 for about $25 million. The rights include revenue from future films, games, DVDs and television for the series, but the company has no or limited rights to revenue from the first three films.

Halcyon, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, is a production company that produced the latest movie about the iconic robot from the future, “Terminator Salvation”.

It is looking to conduct a sale of its assets in January, according to Kevin Schultz, senior managing director at FTI Capital Advisors, who is helping the company explore its strategic alternatives.

The company is looking for a potential “stalking horse” buyer to serve as the lead bidder in the bankruptcy auction in January, Schultz said.

“We’ve had pretty good interest from a lot of investment funds, and all the big studios,” he said.

“It’s a real brand in an area where Hollywood is very keen to buy brands that have longevity.”

The company could also select a bidder who would help it reorganize or recapitalize so it can emerge from bankruptcy as a standalone company if that offers a better return to creditors, Schultz said.

The company had been in the process of developing a fifth “Terminator” film after Terminator Salvation took in about $371 million in worldwide box office returns earlier this year.

Nickelodeon paid $60 million for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise last month. The Terminator franchise is seen as appealing to wider demographics with more purchasing power and higher grossing films, Schultz said.

The assets would be expected to be sold free and clear of liens, which is typical in bankruptcy sales and could also raise the price, Schultz said.

The case is In re: Halcyon Holding Group LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, No. 09-31854.

Reporting by Emily Chasan and Chelsea Emery

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