Loews completes bankruptcy reorg

Exhib to operate as unit of Onex

Loews Cineplex, the nation’s third-largest exhibitor, completed its long bankruptcy reorganization Thursday and now will operate as a unit of Canadian conglom Onex.

Onex and L.A.-based partner Oaktree Capital converted $500 million in Loews debt to acquire 100% of its equity. Onex said its $320 million investment gave it an individual interest of 60%.

Loews also has secured a new $140 million credit facility with Bankers Trust and affiliate Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.

New York-based circuit, whose pre-bankruptcy owners included Sony and Universal, operates more than 2,445 screens. Revenue totaled $903.5 million last year.

“We look forward to working with the company to build upon Loews Cineplex’s preeminent position in the theatrical exhibition industry,” Onex chairman-CEO Gerald Schwartz said.

Onex also operates Canada’s Galaxy circuit. Loews, where Lawrence Ruisi remains CEO, also operates a Cineplex Odeon unit.

Loews filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2001. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in Manhattan confirmed the company’s reorganization plan March 1.

(Bloomberg News contributed to this report.)

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