Quadrangle takes stake in Cinemark

Co. made investment through a private equity fund

Steven Ratner’s Quadrangle Group on Thursday announced a $50 million investment in large U.S. movie theater chain Cinemark — the latest affirmation of the love affair between private equity firms and the exhibition biz.

Peter Ezersky, a managing principal of Quadrangle, has joined Cinemark’s board.

Quadrangle made the investment through Quadrangle Capital Partners, a private equity fund focused on media and communications, with investments in companies including Cablevision, German broadcaster ProSiebenSat 1 and Bresnan Communications. Quadrangle also provides M&A consulting and advised Comcast on its bid last year for the Walt Disney Co.

Cinemark, one of the nation’s largest chains, operates 302 theaters with 3,273 screens in North America and Latin America. It was acquired in April by investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners along with Cinemark chairman Lee Roy Mitchell.

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Ben Chereskin, a managing director of Madison Dearborn, said Quadrangle’s “deep involvement in the media and entertainment industry should enable it to add value to Cinemark.”

Quadrangle was founded in March 2000 by a group of former managing directors and media bankers at Lazard Freres & Co. led by Ratner.