Deal inked at over $30 mil cash

Film equipment supplier Matthews Studio Group is selling its Gotham-based Four Star Lighting Co. division to the company’s existing management and a group of private investors for more than $30 million in cash, strategic alliances and long-term marketing and Internet agreements.

Four Star Lighting, founded in 1964, supplies theatrical equipment to the Broadway market. Its prexy, Darren P. DeVerna, will continue to head operations of the newly formed Four Star Lighting Group.

Burbank-based Matthews will retain its Four Star Lighting Hollywood business and consolidate those operations under the name Hollywood Rental Co.

Focusing on the Web

Matthews said the transaction reflects its strategy of divesting some of its capital-intensive operations, improving its balance sheet and adding resources to its investment in its showbizmart.com Web site.

The company has recently chosen to consolidate its brick-and-mortar divisions to focus more on the Internet.

“The planned sale of Four Star allows all of us at Matthews to completely focus on the implementation of our restructuring plans, and returns the helm of a strong niche market to the individuals who will find the most benefit from their localized market placement,” said Carlos DeMattos, chairman and CEO of Matthews Studio Group.

Matthews recently said it expects to report a loss of about $20 million for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30 after charges of $9.2 million for discontinued operations.

(Marc Graser contributed to this report).

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