Netlist Inc., (NLST) the provider of memory solutions for the cloud computing and storage markets, said today it has amended the credit financing agreement it entered in July 2013 with an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG).
Irvine, Calif.-based Netlist said the amended agreement accelerates the availability of financing and enhances Netlist's economics through a cap on the financing's total patent monetization share.
"The immediate availability of additional capital from Fortress is a vote of confidence in our growing and strategically important product and intellectual property portfolios," said Netlist Chief Executive Officer, C.K. Hong in a statement.
"Fortress' intellectual property team continues to be a key source of accretive capital to support our ongoing innovation and growth.”
Officials from Netlist and Fortress couldn’t be reached for further comment.
Netlist is one of seven publicly traded patent monetization companies with Fortress backing. The others are Andrea Electronics (ANDR), Crossroads Systems (CRSD), Document Security Systems (DSS), Inventergy Global Inc. (INVT), Marathon Patent Group (MARA) and SITO Mobile Ltd. (SITO)
In July 2013, Netlist announced that it closed new credit financing for up to $15 million from an affiliate of Fortress.
Netlist said it needed the money to support the ongoing development of its product and patent portfolios covering next generation server and storage systems.
"The strategic financing from Fortress underscores the untapped value of our extensive IP portfolio," Netlist’s Hong said in a statement at the time.
Hong said working with the team at Fortress, Netlist would be able to focus on maximizing the investments it has made in advanced memory products and leveraging its patent portfolio.
Fourteen months later, Netlist was forced to announce the resignation of two of its directors Alan Portnoy and Claude Leglise, attributing the departures at least in part to their “disagreement with the company’s strategic and financing plans.”
Netlist’s Hong previously declined to comment on the resignation of the directors and the financing from Fortress.
Neither Portnoy nor Leglise responded to requests for comment.
Netlist is currently involved in a patent infringement case against SanDisk and Diablo Technologies in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.
Netlist was granted a preliminary injunction to prevent SanDisk from using controller chips made by Diablo because they infringed on Netlist’s patents. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Feb. 11 upheld the preliminary injunction.
SanDisk filed a narrower appeal asking the Federal Circuit to allow it to sell its existing inventory of Diablo chip prior to the injunction and also asked for an expedited appeal. Netlist opposed these motions. The Federal Circuit denied the motion to expedite the appeal but granted the stay.
Shares of Netlist fell 9.7% or 18 cents to $1.68 in trading on the Nasdaq today. They’ve traded between 57 cents and $2.41 over the past year.
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