Theater chain makes third attempt to go public

The IPO market in media and entertainment is showing no signs of cooling off, as the nation’s second-largest theater chain, AMC Entertainment, said this week it plans to raise as much as $450 million in a public offering.

This would be the third attempt to go public for the Kansas City-based exhibitor since 2006 after abandoning previous attempts because of market downturns and investors objecting to earlier pricings.

In a regulatory filing, AMC did not specify how many shares it plans to sell, or at what price. AMC is backed by JP Morgan, and private equity firms Apollo Investment and Bain Capital. JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs will serve as lead underwriters.

The company said it plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt.

AMC’s plans follow IPOs in the biz in the past year from tech firm RealD, ratings service Nielsen and content provider Demand Media. Internet radio service Pandora is planning to raise as much as $100 million in an offering. And private equity-backed Univision is in the process of replacing its CEO as it mulls its own IPO.

AMC, which operates 361 theaters in U.S. and Canada, said on a pro forma basis that it had revenues in 2010 of $2.6 billion and pro forma profits of $67 million.

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