Visual Bible International placed in receivership, put up for sale
TORONTO (CP) - Visual Bible International Inc., a "faith-based" media company that released a film version of the Gospel of John produced by Garth Drabinsky, was placed in receivership Wednesday and put up for sale.The Buena Vista deal is the one that has produced the following website, to which I have referred before: The Gospel of John: The Official Website, and which also includes the Gospel of Mark teaser trailer I mentioned above.
"It is the intention that VBI will continue to operate throughout the receivership process, during which time the interim receiver intends to actively search for a buyer for the company," the privately held company stated.
It said its principal secured lender supports the process . . . .
. . . . The company says it recently concluded an agreement with Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment Inc., which will distribute the film of the New Testament Gospel of John and an upcoming film based on the Gospel of Mark's account of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ . . . .
Update (Friday, 02.05): The Globe and Mail has more and it is not looking good:
Court appoints Visual Bible receiver
by Paul Waldie
. . . .Despite those setbacks, Visual Bible planned to make a film this year, based on the Book of Mark, with Mr. Drabinsky as producer. It even signed a new contract with him in April, 2004, for $25,000 (U.S.) a month.So it looks like we are not going to see Gospel of Mark any time soon.
However, losses continued to pile up. The company's last financial statements show a loss of $10.3-million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2004. That compares with a loss of $4.4-million in the same period a year earlier. Sales were $7.2-million.
Documents filed in court yesterday allege Visual Bible had defaulted on several debentures, could not meet payroll on April 1, 2005, and had a negative cash flow of $170,000 a month.
"The marketing of the [Book of John] film has been a commercial failure," Ed Rosenblat, an adviser to a group of debt holders, alleged in an affidavit. Visual Bible "has been unable to generate sufficient revenue from the film to meet its operating costs and debt obligations," he said. The company "has no reasonable prospect for improving its financial performance." . . . .
. . . .Peter Farkas, managing partner at RSM Richter Inc., which was appointed receiver, said the company will continue operating, but the Book of Mark film is on hold "until they get refinanced."
He added that he has been told by company employees that Mr. Drabinsky and Mr. Gottlieb have not been active in the company for several months.