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Hemdale Plans 'Reverse Merger' With Valley Firm

March 14, 1987|JAMES BATES | Times Staff Writer

Hemdale Film Co., a Hollywood firm that financed such hit movies as the Vietnam War story "Platoon," disclosed plans Friday to go public by merging with a shrunken Chatsworth concern that was once a leading computer component maker.

Hemdale plans to combine with Computer Memories, a one-time manufacturer of disk drives that has liquidated most of its assets since IBM's 1985 decision to stop buying its products.

The proposed deal will be a so-called reverse merger. Under such a transaction, a privately held business takes over another company with publicly traded stock but generally few other assets. It enables the private firm to become public without having to substantially reorganize itself or to submit extensive filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hemdale is entirely owned by John Daly, 49. A native of Britain, Daly founded Hemdale in London in 1967 with actor David Hemmings, who left in 1970.

It finances films and typically is listed as an executive producer on its projects. Three Hemdale-backed movies, "Platoon," "Hoosiers" and "Salvador," received a total of 12 Academy Award nominations this year. That includes the best picture nomination for "Platoon," director Oliver Stone's account of his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam.

According to Hemdale executives, the company's unaudited financial results for 1986 show a $5.5-million pretax profit on revenue of $23 million. Its 1987 statistics are expected to be much higher. The deal is structured so that Computer Memories will acquire Hemdale through a stock deal. However, Daly will dominate the surviving business by getting 80% of the merged company's 47 million shares.

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