Alternative Investing Extreme: Titanic Artifacts Auction Extended (PRXI)

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Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRXI) is far from a typical public company and it has been featured by us as one of America’s most unusual public companies before.  The company is a presenter of museum-quality touring exhibitions, with The Titanic and also Bodies as its key exhibits.  Apparently the interest for the once in a lifetime Titanic artifact auction is stronger than expected.  The company came out today and noted that it has extended the deadline for the submission of bids to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2012 and that it will announce additional information on April 11, 2012.

The reason cited for the delay was “due to the level of interest in its auction of the Titanic artifact collection and the late entry of additional potential bidders.”

Premier Exhibitions, Inc. owns RMS Titanic, Inc. as a wholly owned subsidiary and this is the only company permitted by law to recover objects from the wreck of Titanic after it was granted what is called ‘Salvor-In-Possession rights’ to the wreck of Titanic back in 1994.  The company has conducted seven research and recovery expeditions to Titanic and it has recovered over 5,500 artifacts.

What is interesting is that the auction house responsible for this auction, Guernsey’s, is selling this all as one collection (seen here).  The auction house has noted, “Also included is a substantial body of Intellectual Property such as hundreds of hours of video footage of the ship and the recovery effort, three-dimensional mapping of the complete ship and surrounding debris field, and other meaningful property pertaining to the ship today and into the future.”

How you would value this is probably no simple task.  The pre-news market capitalization of the equity of Premier Exhibitions is listed as almost $128.5 million according to Yahoo! Finance but that is far higher than the value of the goodwill, intangibles, and other related assets it carries on its most recent balance sheet.