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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

AMC Entertainment files to go public (again)

The second-biggest US theater chain, AMC, is filing to go public. In December 2004, the company went private, and then in 2005 acquired Loews Cineplex Entertainment. Why go public again? The private equity investors who control AMC must think the markets offer the opportunity to make a profit on the deal.

From the Kansas City Star:

    Jon Braatz, an analyst with Kansas City Capital Associates, noted that the box office year-to-date is a bit better than last year. He added that whether the deals involve an initial public offering or going private, the capital markets have been relatively active this year.

    “They’re probably looking to go public to pay off their debt, but it all depends on how well they’re doing and how well the box office is doing,” Braatz said.

And from the Hollywood Reporter:

    According to AMC's S-1 form filed with the SEC, the company considers its proactive efforts to close older, underperforming theaters as "a major factor that further differentiates us from our competitors and has contributed to our overall theater portfolio quality." The document says that AMC has identified 52 multiplex theaters with 418 screens that it might close during the next one to three years.

And here's the LA Times coverage.

AMC is the company that helped pioneer the multiplex. (AMC stands for American Multi-Cinema.) The company opened the first two-screen multiplex, the Roxy, in 1963 in Kansas City.