Cineworld in talks to acquire Regal Entertainment for $3.6 billion
Cineworld Group Plc
A deal between the two would put the combined company in a better position to take market share from U.S. industry leader AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc
Regal said in a statement that Cineworld`s all-cash offer values it at $23 per share, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
No agreement has been reached and there is no assurance that any transaction will result, Regal added.
Cineworld declined to comment.
Regal shares jumped as much as 16 percent after Reuters reported the deal talks. They closed up 7.6 percent at $19.63 in New York, giving the company a market value of about $3 billion. Cineworld has a market value of 1.9 billion pounds ($2.5 billion).
Other movie theatre operators` shares also shot higher; AMC rose 8.4 percent to close at $16.15 while Cinemark Holdings
Regal`s top shareholder is Anschutz Corp, led by Denver-based dealmaker and billionaire Phil Anschutz. While Anschutz Corp owns just over 10 percent of Regal, it controls the company through a separate class of voting stock.
Regal Entertainment, which owns 561 theatres with 7,315 screens, hired an investment bank in 2014 to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, but later shelved those plans.
Cineworld bought Cinema City to become Europe`s second-largest movie theatre chain in 2014. It operates 2,049 screens across 221 sites in Britain, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Israel.
Cineworld`s largest shareholder is Global City Holdings BV, a Polish holding company that owns entertainment and real estate businesses in Europe and Israel. Global City owns 28 percent of Cineworld, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The last major deal in the sector was in December 2016, when AMC completed its acquisition of Carmike Cinemas for about $1.1 billion. AMC also acquired Europe`s largest theatre chain, Odeon, for $1.2 billion last year.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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