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Oaktree nabs Silver Cinemas

$40 mil deal to close by end of May

Oaktree Capital, an L.A.-based investment management firm, has emerged as the winner of an auction for bankrupt exhib Silver Cinemas, whose subsid Landmark Theatre Corp. is the top U.S. specialty circuit.

Deal is expected to close by the end of May.

Purchase price of about $40 million comes in about $5 million more than the secured debt owned by Silver. The amount beyond that debt which bidders were willing to pay became a central issue in the auction.

Along with Oaktree, bidders included Cerberus Partners, Foothill Capital and Madstone Films. Madstone’s effort gained notice for the Gotham company’s intention to install digital projection systems in many Silver locations.

Dallas-based Silver has 72 theaters and 321 screens in 16 states. Its key asset is Landmark, which has 51 theaters and 166 screens and boasts the only coast-to-coast footprint among arthouse chains.

Oaktree, whose assets total $18 billion, is involved with Philip Anschutz in some of the entrepreneur’s acquisitions of debt and assets of several top circuits.

(Carl DiOrio contributed to this report.)

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