SECURITIZATION OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS | STRUCTURED FINANCE REPORT 1
FINAL REPORT SUBMISSION
This submission was made to Prof. Prantik Ray
Aishwary Kumar Gupta
SECURITIZATION OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS | STRUCTURED FINANCE REPORT 2
TYPES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ASSETS......................................................................................4
VALUING AN INTANGIBLE ASSET ........................................................................................................5
IDENTIFICATION OF SECURITIZABLE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY........................................................10
PROCESS OF IP SECURITIZATION .......................................................................................................10
ADVANTAGES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SECURITIZATION .........................................................10
DISADVANTAGES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SECURITIZATION ....................................................11
CASE: DRUG ROYALTY III L.P. 1 (SERIES 2016-1)............................................................................12
PROBLEMS CONCERNING IPR SECURITIZATION.................................................................................12
SECURITIZATION OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS | STRUCTURED FINANCE REPORT 3
The location of Wrigley field is mostly residential. It is surrounded by residential apartments on both
the sides. For years, the lucky residents of those apartment buildings happily set up chairs on their
roofs and enjoyed the view of the game, free of cost, at leisure. But later, say a decade ago, some
building owners saw an opportunity in it. They decided to make money out of it, and wanted to
capitalize on their views. That idea gave birth to an intangible asset: Viewing Rights. The economic
value of the buildings in that area went up as intangible viewing rights became more important than
the regular rental income from the apartments. Many of the owners provided viewing rights coupled
with refreshments, and this gave them a steady flow of income for some time.
It’s interesting to note as to how a Cubs’ game moved from a proto-asset to giving birth to an
identifiable intangible asset, which in this case is also easily quantifiable. It wasn’t quite late when
the Tribune Company (owners of the Cubs’ franchise) realized that they were losing out in the
scenario, and that it needed to secure its ownership with respect to viewing the game. It did so, both
through legal channels, and through physically blocking the view from the rooftop of the buildings,
by installing screens and other devices. As a result, the business of the building owners suffered a
blow, the owners faced decreased security for the viewing rights. The two stakeholders soon reached
a consensus, wherein the rooftop business owners agreed to pay a royalty to the team and also agreed
that the Tribune had property rights there. On the other hand, the rooftop owners were assured that
the revenues associated with Cubs’ watching would continue with relative stability, and any physical
blockage of the view shall be removed. In this way, both the parties securitized their positions and
gained in the long run.
It is interesting to note as to how this example shows how something as simple as watching a game
from rooftop, can become a major business and eventually be seen as an intangible asset which is
being fought for and then securitized. Have laid the foundation, let’s now define intangible assets, its
different types and the history behind it.
IAS 38 defines Intangible Assets as assets which are without physical substance and identifiable.
Simply put, an intangible asset is an asset that is not physical in nature. Intangible assets can be
classified into three parts:
Intellectual Property: Any product that is an application of human intellect, is novel,
unobvious, and to which some value can be attached, even if not assessed easily. It can be of
multiple forms: inventions, business methods, chemical formulae, designs used in commerce,
literary and artistic works, etc.
Intellectual Capital: This can be defined as a business advantage that arises as a result of
employees of the Company (human capital), or the business model of the Company coupled
with trade secrets, or something as intangible as Company’s network or relationship with
other companies. Trade secrets, a part of Intellectual Capital, are sensitive business
information that provides a company a competitive edge over others.
Goodwill: Goodwill is the excess value paid post acquisitions, over and above the book value
of the assets acquired.
Of the three kinds mentioned above, only Intellectual Property can be securitized and the reasons
for securitizing it are:
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Reducing chances of wrongful imitation by the competitors, and thereby losing the
Creating more opportunities for commercializing new products
Greater safety against violation of IP rights
HISTORY OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS
The first ever incident of securitizing intangible asset owes its credit to the musician David Bowie,
way back in the year 1997. He popularized the concept of securitization by creating a $55 million
issuance of asset-backed bonds. The collateral was future royalties from some 25 albums Bowie
recorded before 1990. The investors were intrigued by Bowie’s creation that they named the bonds
after him and since then “Bowie bonds” have come to mean any bond backed by intangible assets.
These comprise offerings in film and television, literary works, and games. Although these bonds
have fared poorly for their guarantor, the concept has found merit with a lot of investors.
TYPES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ASSETS
Securitization of IP assets has seen the most development in the recent years. Although the purview
of intangible assets is very wide, most of these assets are under the books as copyrights, trademarks
The aim of the copyright law is to incentivize the creation of creative work. It grants the author of the
economic and moral rights of his creations. These exclusive rights are subject to a time limit and
generally expire seventy years after the death of the author. The author or his/her legal authority can
transfer copyright or can grant exclusive and non-exclusive licences.
Securitization in the field of copyright is still nascent and not a widespread practise. However, its
advantages are immense. It would provide with authors the opportunity to recoup their expenses.
Largely, this practise has yet only been adopted by the entertainment & media industry where
projects have been proven to be successful. Bowie Bonds of 1997 are a popular example of
securitization of copyright licences.
More recently in 2014, Miramax Film securitized its Film library containing more than 700 titles
(such as Pulp Fiction, Chicago, Good Will Hunting, etc.) for $250 million 3.34% notes due 2026 as
well as a $25 million revolving credit facility, which was undrawn at closing. The notes were rated
BBB+ by Standard & Poor’s and BBB (High) by DBRS.
A trademark is defined as the symbol which identifies the source of the product. Owners invest in
their products and by providing a consistent quality and experience in their product and service
offering and further also invest in trademarks to exhibit their commitment. Trademarks also benefit
customers by saving them search costs by relying on familiar products and services. This helps in
creating a captive market for their products by creating goodwill and reputation.
Traditionally, trademark protection is enforced only when it is used in commerce. However, in the
past century, some trademarks have come to represent lifestyle choices and hence these trademarks
have become extremely valuable to their owners. In the US, firms such as the restaurant and fast
food chains Arby’s, Dunkin Donuts, Domino’s Pizza, Sonic, Quizno’s, Applebee’s and IHOP, the
Hilton chain of hotels, fashion houses Candie’s and BCBG Max Azaria, the athletic footwear retailer
SECURITIZATION OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS | STRUCTURED FINANCE REPORT 5
Athlete’s Foot, and the retail chain Sears have used their trademarks to raise interim funds for their
Bill Blass, a famous fashion designer who had a big portfolio of products under his trademark
securitized the future revenue streams coming in from his trademark in 1999. The securities against
his trademark received a rating of Baa3 by Moody’s, which was significantly higher than that of Bill
Blass’s fashion house. This was because simply the act of securitization divided the securitized
assets from other operating risks of the firm.
Patents are meant to reward innovators by providing them a legal monopoly for a limited time to
incentivize innovation. This gives the innovators the legal right to prevent others from copying their
ideas. The time period in general by the US law is 20 years from the filing date of the patent.
The first known example of using patents to raise financing was of Thomas Alva Edison. He would
go on to utilize his patent on incandescent bulb as collateral towards repayment of the loan he took in
order to start the company which today is General Electric.
In 2012, DRI Capital securitized cash flows on 18 royalty streams from 14 patent-protected drugs,
amounted to a total of $195 million. The issue was rated Baa3 by Moody’s and BBB by Standard &
Poor’s. The issue was over-collateralized by as much as 34 % of the issue size.
VALUING AN INTANGIBLE ASSET
The first step in securitization of an intangible asset is the process of determining the value of the
asset itself. Since, these assets are intangible, the methods required for valuation are different and
Binomial, Options, etc
The director of a B-School has been approached by the administration with the idea of doing away
with the tea/coffee vending machine for professors. Professors gather around the vending machine
couple of times a day and would often talk about sports, local news, etc. The administration argues
that the machine acts as a distraction and actually pulls away the professors from doing their real
work, i.e. research.
The director decides to value the prospect of having a break room before he reaches a conclusion. He
asks the finance officer to value the prospect of having a vending machine.
The officer first decides to value the cash flows from the sale of the items from the vending machine.
Suppose the weighted average profit earned from the sale of one item from the machine is Rs. 5/unit.
SECURITIZATION OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS | STRUCTURED FINANCE REPORT 6
The school does not pay anything for the restocking and is kept fully stocked by the local distributor.
Since, the average faculty size of 80 is almost the same year-on-year, a simplification would be to
assume that each faculty on an average buys 2 items from the machine every work day. With 240
work days in a year on average, the yearly cash flow to the school will be = 5 * 80 (faculty size) * 2
(items/day) * 240 (work days) = Rs. 192000/year. The distributor gives the payment to the school on
a yearly basis. Since the prices of F&B products does not change drastically with time and taking a
horizon of 4 years for the sake of simplification, the present value of cash inflows from the vending
machine can be computed as follows –
PVcash inflow = 192000/(1+r) + 192000/[(1+r)^2] + 192000/[(1+r)^3] + 192000/[(1+r)^4]
Here, from the Capital Asset Pricing Model, we know that
ri = rf + β* ( rm – rf )
Here, it is safe to assume β=1 since the F&B business closely replicates the market dynamics. At
rf=6% and risk premium of 3%, we obtain –
ri = 6% + 1 * 3% = 9%
PVcash inflow = 192000/(1+0.09) + 192000/[(1+0.09)^2] + 192000/[(1+0.09)^3] + 192000/[(1+0.09)^4]
= Rs. 622026
Calculating Lost Wages –
Let’s assume that each professor spends 15 mins a day on the vending machine in taking his item and
talking with his/her peers.
Therefore, lost time = 80 * 0.25 (hours) = 20 hours/day
Assuming a 8 hour work day and 240 work days and each professor earning a salary of Rs. 19.2
lakh/annum, the hourly wage of a professor will be = 1920000/(8*240) = Rs. 1000/hr
Therefore, lost wages per day = 1000 * 20 = Rs. 20000/day
Lost Wages Annually = 20000 * 240 = Rs. 4800000/annum
Using DCF method to compute the cost over four years,
PVcost = 4800000/(1+0.09) + 4800000/[(1+0.09)^2] + 4800000/[(1+0.09)^3] + 4800000/[(1+0.09)^4]
= Rs. 15550655
On the face of it, it seems that eliminating the vending machine will lead to 15550655 – 622026 =
Rs. 14928629 of savings in lost wages and productivity.
When he showed his workings to the Director, he pointed out that not all vending machine
discussions are purely non-work related. Some discussions also relate to academic and scholarly
excellence which help in building the brand equity of the school. The discussions also facilitate
cross-functional collaboration on research papers.
This research excellence and opportunity helps in letting the school charge a 25% premium over the
average b-school fees of 16 lakhs of the same grade. This translates to a premium of 4 lakh/student.
For 360 students annually, this translates to Rs. 144000000/annum.
However, the entire contribution towards premium cannot be attributed to academic excellence.
SECURITIZATION OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS | STRUCTURED FINANCE REPORT 7
Factors allowing for the school to charge premium (Rs. 144000000) = Academic Excellence + Better
Placements + Unknowns
Roughly allotting one-third of the premium to academic excellence, the figure we obtain is Rs.
48000000. Let us assume for simplification that the vending machine contributes only 40% towards
helping academic excellence, the figure is Rs. 19200000.
Therefore, if the director decides to eliminate the vending machine, the net benefit of Rs. 14928629
will be overwhelmed by savings of Rs. 19200000.
At a net value of Rs. 4271371, eliminating the vending machine does not seem like the best idea.
Even though, the methodology takes into account many assumptions for the sake of simplicity, the
general idea behind the calculations is logical. The assumptions will cease to be subjective as there
are more and more sub-divisions.
The market based approach for valuation of assets using comparable assets works best when the
asset under question is homogeneous. Therefore, the market based approach works best for
commodities, whose attributes are easily delineated and easy to compare in a market that is actively
traded. The market based approach is linked to other valuation principles such as; the valuation of
the reference asset must take into account the discounted value of the future cash flows from the
asset. Therefore, the implicit assumption is that the comparable assets are priced correctly. In case
the reference asset is overvalues or undervalued, so will the subject asset.
This make the market-based valuation of an intangible asset more difficult because of its
heterogeneity. However, the approach allows us gain some idea of the boundary values of the subject
asset. Let us look at an example to see how the value of an intangible asset varies widely based on
the context –
Suppose you wish to value a patent for a pharmaceutical company’s insulin medication designed for
patients with very high BMI index. For a good comparable analysis, we will take into account asset
prices at different depths and scope of similarity.
All pharma patents
Just insulin related patents
Just patents pertaining to high BMI index patients
Just insulin for high BMI index patients
At first thought, we will be tempted to use the most recent transaction for the category with the
narrowest market definition i.e. insulin for high BMI index patients. However, one must enquire
deeply about the reasons for the value they paid for their transactions.
Some factors to consider might be –
Fit with existing portfolio
Scope of the patent
Remaining useful life of the patent
Likelihood of infringement of the patent
It is possible that for the most recent transaction which we plan to use as reference asset, for the
buyer, this patent might be a missing piece in its portfolio of medication and therefore might have
paid a premium for it. The same might not be the case for us for our subject asset.
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This is a small example to show how when even one factor which is different for valuation, the
market based approach becomes difficult to use. Therefore, the context of the transaction matters and
neutralizing its effect is not entirely possible.
Below, we will discuss a small real-world example of how such adjustments might be done.
Value of a trademark of a U.S. Cosmetic company which licences its trademark to several companies
in the Latin American market for use in their respective territories. The company will also provide
marketing support to these companies on a need basis. For a reference transaction, we consider the
most recent available transaction available with the terms: exclusive licence to the trademark with no
upfront fee and a running royalty rate of 7 % of net sales to a Western European company for a
period of 5 years. The adjustments made for the trademark are as follows:
Location: Trademark valuation can differ widely between geographies. However, here it was
concluded that the value of trademarks in the cosmetic industry in the given geographies were
comparable and hence, no adjustment was required.
Advertising Support: To help launch the brands in the new territories, the licensor has agreed
to provide market development support of up to $1 million in the first year. The royalty rate
was adjusted upward by 0.2 % to compensate the licensor for this added expense.
IP Strength: Trademark protection and ability to manage the use of marks is determined to be
lower in Latin America than in Europe. Subjectively, royalty was decreased by 0.5% to
account for this.
Length: Length of the licence is an important factor in determining the value. However, in
this instance the expectation is that the agreement would likely be renewed at the end of the
three year period, so no adjustment was performed.
Replacement Cost Method-
It is a forward looking method on how to create an asset with similar functionality to the asset in
question. A common usage of the method is the cost to design around a patent or a set of patents.
Many experts believe that the replacement cost method has little credence in IP valuation because; (i)
the legal protection of IP makes replacement difficult and (ii) with the legal protection, the
replacement cost for many IP assets is effectively zero. Nonetheless, the method is an efficient
measure for us to establish a ‘floor’ and ‘ceiling’ price.
In the following example, we try to determine the value of an Auto dealer network. Here, we do not
speak about valuing the dealership directly but the intangible asset of the network of relationships
between the distributor and the independent franchise dealerships. Here, the replacement cost is the
only viable method to value the network in the absence of any direct cash flows arising from the
intangible dealer relationship asset.
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The above shows the value of the dealer network arrived using Establishment & Support Costs. The
establishment costs include the efforts put into identification of site and the costs to establish the
dealer. This represents the cost to create a completely new dealer network. However, these costs
must be reduced due to changing consumer trends and demographics, obsolescence of the existing
network, etc. These costs are further supplemented by support costs in training, accounting support,
Over the past decade or so, we have seen the growth of new and non-traditional methods of
valuation. They include real options, binomial methods and Monte Carlo simulations. They are all
based on decision tree models where the conditional events required for the IP to generate revenue is
modelled explicitly. Therefore, these techniques are broadly composed of the following 2 steps:
Calculate the probability of each favourable event that will make the IP valuable.
Compute the payoff if the favourable event occurs.
Using this method, we shall try to value a non-commercialized patent for purposes of negotiated sale.
The case is concerning Bt Corn in the US. The European corn borer caterpillar (ECB) is a pest that
destroys millions of dollars of corn each year. To stop this menace, a new variety of corn called Bt
corn was developed which is resistant from the bacteria. However, the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) is concerned that widespread use of Bt corn might make the ECB resistant to
conventional insecticides and affecting modified crop as well. The EPA has therefore mandated a
“refuge” policy in which 20-40% acreage of the farm is to be planted with the conventional corn
which would enable ECB to not generate resistance from the insecticide.
However, compliance to this policy is voluntary and up to the individual farmer. To help ensure
compliance with the refuge policy, a business method patent was obtained to bundle an insurance
policy with Bt Bacteria in the transgenic seed. The patent has 6 remaining years left.
Here, the binomial method is most relevant to use since, the payoff is dependent on the event that the
ECB does not mutate and spread. The valuation model is explained from the following decision tree:
SECURITIZATION OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS | STRUCTURED FINANCE REPORT 10
CHOOSING THE RIGHT VALUATION METHOD-
IP valuation is not yet advanced as is business valuation with much research done on the subject.
Therefore, there does not exist a hierarchy of methods to be used and all methods are equally
applicable. Thus, most experts urge people to employ multiple valuation methods for a given asset to
determine the robustness of the valuation. However, this is always pragmatically not possible due to
lack of financial/economic data or due to lack of precedent. Therefore, one must be on the lookout
for new and improved methods when it comes to the matter of valuing an intangible asset.
IDENTIFICATION OF SECURITIZABLE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
It must be noted that not all intellectual property is considered fit by the investors to be securitized.
For IP assets to be effectively securitized, they must have the following characteristics –
Can be separately identified from other intangible assets
Can be legally protected
Are able to generate cash flows (income)
Provide access to exclusive Research & Development
Can be valued
Therefore, a quantifiable and legible flow of consistent cash stream arising from commerce activities
arising out of IP backed business is a requirement for the IP to be securitizable.
PROCESS OF IP SECURITIZATION
The IP Securitization process is not that different from that of a regular asset-backed securitization
A typical IP Securitization process happens as follows –
The royalty stream arising from the IP is transferred to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). This
step is important to ensure that the IP assets will not be affected by the originator’s
bankruptcy. This transaction is tailored to be a ‘true sale’.
The SPV next issues securities to the capital market. The offer may be bundled with credit
enhancement features to obtain a better credit rating. Most of these transactions happen by
private placement. A portion of the issuance capital may be set aside in a debt service reserve
Rating of the issue is assigned to the security by the rating agencies. They typically go
through 3-5 years of financial history of the company’s portfolio and uses it to project the
performance of the company.
It may also be prudent for the issuing firm to acquire additional IP which may act as ‘choke
points’ if left outside the vehicle.
ADVANTAGES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SECURITIZATION
In this section, we try to analyse the benefits of securitization from the different perspectives –
originators, investors and the public for expansion and diversification of the fields of creativity and
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Access to Non-Bank Credit – The securitization procedure acts as a substitute to bank credit.
Banks are subject to many regulations from the government and is limited by the amount of
its own capital. The access to wider range of credit not only promotes credit to innovative
people seeking financing but lowers the cost of financing overall.
Lowering of Financing Costs – We have seen from previous examples that securitization of
IP rights allows originators to raise credit cheaply, since the credit risk involved in the IP
backed assets is lower as they are separated from the operating risk of the entire business.
Off-Balance Sheet Financing - According to accounting principles, a secured loan should
appear as a liability on the balance sheet of the borrowing company. In contrast, obtaining
credit through securitization is considered off balance-sheet financing since, from an
accounting perspective, the securitization replaces one type of asset, future royalty streams,
with a different type of asset, liquid money. Off-balance-sheet financing is attractive for the
originator since it does not increase its debt-to-equity ratio and as a result has no negative
impact on the originator’s creditworthiness.
Maintain Ownership rights in the Originator - An originator who securitizes royalty income
streams from IP rights is not separated from her rights; rather, the royalty income streams
revert to her possession when the asset-backed securities are fully repaid.
Supporting Investments in Research, Development and Creativity – The ability to monetize
IP assets through securitization provides the originator with capital as and when he needs it.
The liquid capital can be invested in creating further IP assets which can further be
securitized and so on.
DISADVANTAGES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
If the primary asset of the company is the securitized IP asset, a default on the loan could lead
to liquidation of the IP and eventual turmoil for the company.
Since the valuation of IP backed securities is difficult than for tangible assets, potential
creditors are not willing to invest readily as they do not know how the asset prices react to
Intangible assets are far less liquid than tangible assets. This may restrict the width of
investors willing to invest in such assets.
The IP securitization market is still in its nascent phase. This might make it a more expensive
financing alternative than traditional financing.
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CASE: DRUG ROYALTY III L.P. 1 (SERIES 2016-1)
Drug Royalty III LP 1 is the SPV set up to issue $145 million Senior Secured Class A Notes which is
backed by 8 royalty streams on seven patent-protected drugs and technologies. DRI Capital Inc. will
serve as the servicer of the issue. The offer profile snapshot is attached as follows –
A preliminary rating of BBB was given to the issue by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s. The
report mentions the overcollateralization of 42 % implicit in the issue.
The report further goes on to detail the rationale behind the rating, the industry & transaction
overview, details about the servicer, the underwriter, credit analysis, scenario analysis, payment
priority details and covenants relating to specific events such as default, etc.
The entire report can be accessed on:
PROBLEMS CONCERNING IPR SECURITIZATION
Some problems relating to IPR securitization can be divided into the following categories-
1) Valuation & Cash Flows - Difficulty in predicting future cash flows due to IP specific risk
factors. Valuation of an IP still remains a developing area and there are various disputes over
methodology and veracity of the method used.
2) Characteristics of the assets to be securitized – Assets targeted for securitization are for the
royalties from the IPRs. To specify the assets to be securitized, it is necessary to correctly
identify the relationship between the subject IPR and third parties.
3) Transfer of Assets to be Securitized – Transfer of assets which need to be securitized may
include (i) transferability, (ii) true sales, (iii) effectiveness against third parties, (iv) risk of
cancellation of a license contract, and (v) evaluation of the IP concerned.
4) Credit Enhancement – The possibility of evaluating risk of failure of an IPR is difficult. This
creates a lot of issues that even a credit enhancement measure such as insurance would not
pay due to the high insurance premium rate.
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5) Balance of Disclosure – The owner faces the problem of balance of disclosure to investors
along with confidential technical information during issue of securities.
6) Handling after the implementation of the securitization – There are issues which need to be
taken care of after implementation of the securitization such as treatment of improvement
patents, how to handle annual patent fees, etc.
From the above discussion, we can conclude that the securitization of IPRs involves great
complexity. Even developed markets such as USA & Europe are not fully prepared for IP
securitization. Currently, the costs to build a securitization scheme for IPRs is enormous and the
volume of securities needs to be extremely large for it to become feasible for everyone.
In the current age, IP rights are more significant than ever. Securitization of tangible assets has
proven to be a credible financing source for many companies. Securitization allows for the
capitalization of IP rights that yield a foreseeable royalty stream in order to raise interim funds for
business activities. The growth of the securitization market has been steady and has not yet realized
its full potential.
Companies’ financing needs and growing Investors’ risk appetite will soon discover the rewards that
can be offered from the currently untapped potential of securitization of IP-backed assets.
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Ariel Glasner, Making Something Out of “Nothing” The Trend Towards Securitizing
Intellectual Property and the Legal Obstacles That Remain, 3 J. LEGAL TECH. RISK
MGMT.27,37, 39–40 (2008); Kaufmann, supra note 37, at 241.
Kirsch, Alexander C. (2007). Intellectual property securitization. Germany: VDM Verlag Dr.
Bruce W. Burton, Financing Alternatives for Companies: Using Intellectual Property as
http://www.reuters.com/article/drug-royalties-abs-idUSL2E8E58LS20120305, Accessed on 3
17.pdf, Accessed on 5 Feb 2017
https://www.iip.or.jp/e/e_summary/pdf/detail2003/e15_20.pdf, Accessed on 7 Feb 2017
Accessed on 9 Feb 2017
16-1).pdf/15da8dee-b8bc-4d1a-9115-50e0fed539b2, Accessed on 28 Jan 2017
http://www.miramax.com/press/miramax-completes-securitization-250-million/, Accessed on
13 Jan 2017