GVR WILL NAME NEW CEO; BHARVIRKAR BECOMES CHAIRMAN
SAN JOSE, CA - Global VR CEO Milind Bharvirkar is moving into a new role as chairman of board of the company he cofounded. In his new role, Bharvirkar will provide input on strategic direction and will consult to top management, while no longer running day-to-day operations. Announcement of a new CEO is at least a week away, officials said. Global VR is finalizing a new round of funding expected to be in the $10 million range. "It's not an easy decision to make," Bharvirkar advised GVR colleagues. "But as a founder and a large shareholder of the company, I realized that each of us must concentrate our unique skills in making Global VR a success. I have used my skill and dedication to get us to where we are, and believe it will take a different set of skills to get us to the next level."
GLOBAL VR DROPS COUNTERSUIT
SAN JOSE, CA , Global VR has dismissed its counterclaims against Incredible Technologies in an ongoing infringement lawsuit. GVR executives said the move was voluntary and was motivated by a desire "to hasten the resolution" of the original lawsuit by simplifying the litigation. GVR officials said they believe the company could prevail on the counterclaims if pursued, but GVR also desires to reduce legal costs and concentrate on R&D and marketing. Observers believe the dismissal may be part of efforts to clear the decks in preparation for an expected new round of funding. IT sued GVR in February 2003, charging that GVR's "EA Sports PGA Tour" video game "blatantly copies and duplicates in all material respects" IT's earlier "Golden Tee Fore!" game. GVR's countersuit had charged IT with "taking steps to maintain its monopoly position in the coin-operated video game market by preventing (GVR) from competing effectively"; and with making "false and disparaging comments to customers and potential customers"; and with filing the original suit in order to harm GVR's competitive position. In preliminary hearings, the presiding judge expressed the view that IT "cannot show any likelihood of success on the merits" of its claims.
HURRICANE RECOVERY: BENCHMARK'S FINE; GREEN, FIRESTONE OFFER FINANCING
HYPOLUXO, FL and MYRTLE BEACH, SC , Benchmark president Al Kress reports the company survived Hurricane Frances with relatively minor damage , minor roof leaks, three days without power and phone service issues. The company, now awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Ivan, is back in production. "We would like to thank everyone for their concerns about our safety," said Kress. Callers experiencing problems may contact Kress on his mobile phone, (561) 252-8081, or Rich Long at tel. (954) 242-2015'Separately, Green Coin Machine Distributing has partnered with Firestone Financial to offer a special 24-month hurricane assistance program to help operators recover from hurricane damage. Through Oct. 15, special financing is available for purchases of all equipment lines that Green distributes to Florida operators. Terms are 3.99% APR, no money down and no payment for 90 days. The $125 processing fee, tax and freight must be paid at signing. Green Coin can be contacted at tel. (800) 232-6467, Firestone at tel. (800) 851-1001.
DAVE & BUSTER'S CHALKS UP POSITIVE SECOND QUARTERDALLAS , Dave & Buster's second quarter net revenues and comparable-store revenues increased during the second quarter of 2004. The industry's leading LBE chain reported that for the quarter that ended August 1, total revenue increased 1.7% to $89.8 million from $88.3 million in the prior year's comparable quarter. Food and beverage revenue increased 3.1%, and amusement and other revenue increased 0.3%. Revenue from comparable stores increased 0.5% for the quarter. Special event revenue on a comparable store basis was 13.4% of total revenue, compared with 12.2% of total revenue in the second quarter last year. Six-month figures were even better. CEO Buster Corley pointed to six straight profitable quarters; president Dave Corriveau said the next new D&B's opens in Arcadia, CA, on Sept. 29.