Helios & Matheson CEO eyes options for MoviePass expansion

Helios and Matheson Analytics is in talks with several investors and investment banks over the future of its growing MoviePass business and does not rule out delaying a public floatation past March, Chief Executive Ted Farnsworth said.

The IT firm agreed to buy a majority stake in online ticketing service, MoviePass, for $27 million on Aug. 15 and has seen its shares rocket by more than 1000 percent in value since.

"We know it’s going to take a lot of capital but we also know that there’s a lot of people that understand the business model, the subscription side," he told Reuters in a telephone interview. "We are talking to several of them as we speak."

"We knew this going into it with our business model that we would go out there and raise more money for MoviePass and right now I think especially with so much going on with the stock it’s a lot of excitement around."

Analysts say a surge in MoviePass subscribers from 20,000 to more than 400,000 between mid-August and mid-September suggested company targets of 2.5 million subscribers next year may prove overly conservative.

Farnsworth declined to give an updated figure for subscriber numbers or the company's targets, but said the numbers using MoviePass every day were now in the tens of thousands.

When asked about MoviePass' plan to go public by March 31, 2018, Farnsworth said it was still on track but that he and MoviePass chief executive, former Netflix manager Mitch Lowe, did not rule out a delay.

"We are wide open and more than flexible, but that’s our plan right now," Farnsworth said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Arjun Panchadar; editing by Patrick Graham)