The coffers at ACME were recently filled by the sale of WBUW-TV Madison, WI for $1.825 million and a settlement of ACME’s court battle with Cox over its national rep change which resulted in a return to ACME of $1.2 million in previously escrowed funds. Also, ACME got a state tax refund for a dispute over its 2003 tax filing.
So, with that pile of cash on hand the board of directors at ACME has approved a special cash distribution of 22 cents per share to common stock holders. The company’s most recent distribution of cash was last June, a payout of 35 cents per share.
In addition, ACME has on hand the remaining approximate 300,000 shares of LIN TV Corporation common stock it received in connection with LIN’s May 2011 purchase of the former ACME TV stations in Dayton and Green Bay. Those shares are now going to be distributed on a pro rata basis to ACME shareholders.
Both the cash distribution and the LIN stock distribution will be made to ACME shareholders of record at the close of business on April 4, 2012 and distributed on April 10, 2012. “Absent any further asset sales which generate taxable profits in 2012, the Company expects these cash and stock distributions to be returns of capital,” ACME stated.
“We continue to focus on monetizing our assets and getting those proceeds into the hands of our shareholders. We believe our patience in selling assets has benefitted our shareholders and we will continue to be patient with our remaining assets, which now consist solely of our duopoly in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe marketplace and our Daily Buzz production entity. We are committed to making sure these continuing operations, including a reduced corporate office infrastructure, generate positive cash flow for our shareholders going forward,” said ACME President and CEO Doug Gealy.
ACME has not yet reported its financial results for Q4 and full year 2011. The company says to expect those numbers in early May.
RBR-TVBR observation: ACME could be around for a while yet. Finding a buyer for a CW/MyNet combo in Albuquerque has proven to be quite a challenge. LIN provides some services to those stations under a contract, but can’t acquire them. So ACME has stripped down to a bare-bones management structure and continues as a publicly traded company, albeit a rather small one.