MARA: Marathon Patent Group Analysis and Research Report

2018-08-13 - by Asif , Contributing Analyst - 115 views

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Overview

Marathon Patent Group was incorporated in the State of Nevada on February 23, 2010 under the name Verve Ventures, Inc. On December 7, 2011, the company changed its name to American Strategic Minerals Corporation and were engaged in exploration and potential development of uranium and vanadium minerals business. In June 2012, the company discontinued its minerals business and began to invest in real estate properties in Southern California. In October 2012, the company discontinued its real estate business when its former CEO joined the firm and the company commenced its IP licensing operations, at which time the Company’s name was changed to Marathon Patent Group, Inc. On November 1, 2017, the company entered into a merger agreement with Global Bit Ventures, Inc. (“GBV”), which is focused on mining digital assets. Marathon Patent Group has since purchased its cryptocurrency mining machines and established a data center in Canada to mine digital assets. Following the merger, the company intend to add GBV’s existing technical capabilities and digital asset miners and expand its activities in the mining of new digital assets, while at the same time harvesting the value of its remaining IP assets.

Recent Developments

Patent Purchase

On January 11, 2018, the Company entered into a Patent Rights Purchase and Assignment Agreement (the “Agreement”), with XpresSpa Group, Inc., a Delaware Corporation (the “Seller”) and Crypto Currency Patent Holdings Company LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and wholly owned subsidiary of the Company (“CCPHC”). Pursuant to the Agreement, the Seller agreed to irrevocably assign, sell, grant, transfer and convey, and CCPHC agreed to accept and acquire, the exclusive right, title and interest in and to certain patents owned by the Seller (“Assigned IP”), subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement. As consideration for the Assigned IP, the Seller shall receive (i) payment in the amount of $250,000 from CCPHC and (ii) 250,000 shares of common stock of the Company, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Consideration Shares”), with piggyback registration rights. The Consideration Shares were issued by the Company to the Seller, subject to the terms and conditions of a lock-up agreement. The fair value of the 250,000 shares was $960,000 and was based upon the closing price of the Company’s common stock.

As a condition to the Agreement, the Seller agreed to enter into a lock-up agreement with the Company, which lock-up agreement is included as an exhibit to the Agreement (the “Lock-up Agreement”). Pursuant to the Lock-up Agreement, the Seller shall not directly or indirectly offer, sell, pledge or transfer, or otherwise dispose of, the Consideration Shares for a period of 180 days commencing on January 11, 2018 and ending on July 11, 2018; provided, however, upon the effective date of the registration for resale of the Consideration Shares, and on each day thereafter, one twentieth (1/20) of the Consideration Shares shall be released from the restrictions contained in the Lock-up Agreement and may be freely sold, transferred, traded or otherwise disposed of. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that the Consideration Shares, in whole or in part, are not registered for resale on the 6-month anniversary of the date of issuance of the Consideration Shares (“Six-Month Date”), the holders thereof may sell, transfer, trade or otherwise dispose of one twentieth (1/20) of the Consideration Shares on the Six-Month Date and on each day thereafter.

In addition, the Company agreed to issue 25,000 shares of the Company’s common stock to Andrew Kennedy Lang, one of the named inventors of the patents, in exchange for consulting services, and 50,000 shares of the Company’s common stock to another individual in exchange for consulting services, in connection with the acquisition of the Assigned IP. The fair value of these shares was $278,750 and was based upon the closing price of the Company’s common stock on date of agreement. The Company recorded the fair value of these shares as a component of compensation and related taxes expense.

Lease and Purchase of Digital Asset Mining Servers

On February 7, 2018, Marathon Crypto Mining, Inc. (“MCM”), a Nevada corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of the it, entered into an agreement to acquire 1,400 Bitmain’s Antminer S9 miners (“Antminer S9s”). The purchase price was $5,104,485. The company also paid installation costs of $694,647 (total paid and capitalized during the three months ended March 31, 2018 was $5,799,132). The company will depreciate the Antminer S9’s over a two year period.

On February 12, 2018, in connection with the intended mining operations of MCM, the Company assumed a lease contract dated November 11, 2017 (the “Lease Agreement”) by and between 9349-0001 Quebec Inc. (the “Lessor”) and Blocespace Inc., formerly known as Cryptoespace Inc. (the “Lessee”). Pursuant to the Lease Agreement, among other things, the Lessee leases a building of 26,700 square feet (the “Property”) in Quebec, Canada, for an initial term of five (5) years (the “Term”), commencing on December 1, 2017 and terminating on November 30, 2022. The Lessee shall pay a monthly rent of $10,012.50 plus tax, or an annual rent of $120,150.00 plus tax (“Yearly Rent”). At the signing of the Lease Agreement, the Lessee paid the Lessor a deposit equal to the Yearly Rent which amount will be dispersed during the Term as set forth in the Lease Agreement.

The Lessee assigned the Lease Agreement to MCM pursuant to an Assignment and Assumption Agreement (the “Assignment”) by and between the Company and the Lessee’s parent company, Bloctechnologies Canada Inc. Subject to the terms and conditions of the Assignment, MCM agreed to observe all the covenants and conditions of the Lease Agreement, including the payment of all rents due. The Company shall be responsible for all necessary capital expenditures in connection with capital improvements to the Property to set up MCM’s mining operations.

The 1,400 Antminer S9s were delivered to the Property and installation commenced on or about March 7, 2018, with the commencement of digital asset mining shortly thereafter.

Symantec Corporation Settlement Agreement

On March 8, 2018, the Company and its subsidiary, Clouding Corp., a California corporation (“Clouding”) entered into a Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (the “Settlement Agreement”) with Symantec Corporation (“Symantec”). Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, in consideration for an undisclosed amount, which is subject to a Confidential Treatment Request (a “CTR”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Symantec agreed to settle its disputes and dismiss the actions brought against the Company, Clouding, IP Navigation Group, LLC, Clouding IP, LLC, William J. Carter, and Erich Spangenberg, each with prejudice. The first case commenced in the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles (the “Los Angeles Action”) and Symantec thereafter filed a second case in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (the “Delaware Action”) naming IP Navigation Group, LLC and Erich Spangenberg as defendants.

Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Marathon Releasees, Clouding Releasees and the Other Defendant Releasees (as such terms are defined in the Settlement Agreement) will be released from claims from any and all claims or causes of action based upon, related to, or arising from the allegations that were made, or could have been made, with respect to the subject matter of the pleadings filed in the Los Angeles Action and the Delaware Action, and as further set forth in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement contains no admission of wrongdoing, liability or obligation to any of the other parties, except as otherwise set forth therein.

Feinberg Litigation

On March 30, 2018, the Company became aware that a summons and complaint (collectively, the “Summons and Complaint”) were filed by Jeffrey Feinberg, Jeffrey L. Feinberg Personal Trust, and Jeffrey L. Feinberg Family Trust against the Company and certain of its officers and directors. The Summons and Complaint were filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York on March 27, 2018. The Company intends to vigorously defend itself against these claims. However, there can be no assurance that the outcome of these uncertainties will be favorable to the Company.

Restated Merger Agreement

On April 3, 2018, the Company and GBV entered into the Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Amended Merger Agreement”), which amends certain terms, among others, in the Merger Agreement, as follows: (i) the Outside Closing Date, as amended, shall be further extended to ninety (90) days from April 3, 2018, subject to consecutive 30-day extensions upon mutual written consent of the Parties; (ii) the Company Shareholders shall receive 70,000,000 Parent Common Shares (reduced from 126,674,557 Parent Common Shares) on a fully diluted basis, which include any Parent Common Shares underlying the Parent’s Series C Preferred Stock issuable in lieu of the Parent Common Shares at the election of the Company Shareholders who would own more than 2.49% of the Parent Common Shares as a result of the Merger; and (iii) in the event that the Merger fails to close by August 9, 2018 or the Company’s Shareholders vote not to approve the Merger, the Parent will issue to the Company, an aggregate of 3,000,000 Parent Common Shares to reimburse GBV for its costs and expenses. All capitalized terms otherwise not defined herein shall have the meanings set forth in the Amended Merger Agreement.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

The Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that it will continue as a going concern, which contemplates continuity of operations, realization of assets, and liquidation of liabilities in the normal course of business.

As reflected in the condensed consolidated financial statements, the Company had and accumulated deficit of approximately $91.7 million at March 31, 2018, a net loss of approximately $2.4 million and approximately $3.7 million net cash used in operating activities for the three months ended March 31, 2018. These factors raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Liquidity is the ability of a company to generate funds to support its current and future operations, satisfy its obligations, and otherwise operate on an ongoing basis. At March 31, 2018, the Company’s cash and cash equivalents balances totaled $5,367,963 compared to $14,948,529 at December 31, 2017.

Net working capital decreased by $5,728,404 to $1,649,706 at March 31, 2018 from $7,378,110 at December 31, 2017.

Cash used in operating activities was $3,650,422 during the three months ended March 31, 2018 and cash used in operating activities of $4,668,501 during the three months ended March 31, 2017.

Cash used in investing activities was $6,050,629 during the three months need March 31, 2018 and cash used in in investing activities of $2,097 for the three months ended March 31, 2017.

Cash provided by financing activities was $120,470 during the three months ended March 31, 2018 compared to cash provided by financing activities in the amount of $167,292 during the three months ended March 31, 2017. Cash provided by financing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2017 resulted from proceeds from the sale of common stock issued pursuant to an ATM offering, offset by payments made for the acquisition of patents and other intangible assets.

Based on its current revenue and profit projections, Marathon Patent Group is uncertain that its existing cash will be sufficient to fund its operations through at least the next twelve months, raising substantial doubt regarding its ability to continue operating as a going concern. If the company do not meet its revenue and profit projections or the business climate turns negative, then the company will need to:

  • raise additional funds to support its operations; provided, however, there is no assurance that the company will be able to raise such additional funds on acceptable terms, if at all. If the company raise additional funds by issuing securities, existing stockholders may be diluted; and
  • review strategic alternatives.

If adequate funds are not available, the company may be required to curtail its operations or other business activities or obtain funds through arrangements with strategic partners or others that may require it to relinquish rights to certain technologies or potential markets.


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