AMC chief Adam Aron does a lot of bombastic things, but his decision to buy 22 percent of a random Nevada gold-mining operation during the Covid pandemic is one he might prefer to take back.
On Monday, Hycroft Mining Holding Corp. received a written notice from the Nasdaq for not being in compliance with the stock exchange’s $1.00 minimum bid price. Shares in Hycroft Mining (HYMC) have not closed above $1 since August 12; the Nasdaq gives a listed company a 30-day grace period before sending such a warning.
Hycroft now has 180 calendar days, or until April 3, 2023, to regain compliance. During that period. the stock must maintain a valuation of $1 for 10 consecutive business days. If that fails, there can be a second compliance period that requires a reverse stock split to meet the minimum bid price.
“There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to regain compliance with the Bid Price requirement, even if it maintains compliance with the other listing requirements,” Hycroft wrote in a filing with the SEC. “The Company is considering actions that it may take in response to the Bid Price Notice in order to regain compliance with the continued listing requirements, but no decisions regarding a response have been made at this time.”
Representatives for Hycroft did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment on this story, nor did a rep for AMC Entertainment.
Shares in HYMC closed Wednesday at 66 cents apiece; the company’s market cap is currently $132.6 million. This isn’t technically a low point for Hycroft: HYMC’s 52-week low is 28 cents per share. The mining company had much better valuation over its first two years of public trading than these last two: HYMC once spiked above $15 per share back in August 2020.
AMC Theatres bought 22 percent of Hycroft, which holds the 71,000-acre Hycroft Mine in northern Nevada, for $27.9 million in cash on March 15, 2022. The mine was said to have 15 million ounces of gold resources and 600 million ounces of silver resources. At the time, the investment from the meme-stock darling was a shot in the arm for HYMC, taking shares from $1.39 per share before the announcement to $2.59 two weeks later.
“Our strategic investment being announced today is the result of our having identified a company in an unrelated industry that appears to be just like AMC of a year ago,” said AMC chairman and CEO Aron in a statement at the time of his Hycroft acquisition. “It, too, has rock-solid assets, but for a variety of reasons, it has been facing a severe and immediate liquidity issue. Its share price has been knocked low as a result. We are confident that our involvement can greatly help it to surmount its challenges — to its benefit, and to ours.”
At the time, Aron also added: “To state the obvious, one would not normally think that a movie theatre company’s core competency includes gold or silver mining.” Some of us still don’t think it does.
Aron had a lot to say in that particular press release; read it all here if you’d like and have the time. As for Adam, well, he should probably grab a shovel and start digging.
AMC is the largest movie exhibition company in the United States, the largest in Europe, and the largest throughout the world with approximately 950 theaters and 10,500 screens across the globe.