×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Regal Entertainment Group in Merger Talks With Cineworld

UPDATED — British movie chain Cineworld Group is in talks with U.S. peer Regal Entertainment Group about a potential merger.

Regal confirmed after the market closed  that it was in talks for an all-cash acquisition at a price of $23 per share — a 17% premium over its closing share price of $19.63. The offer would be worth about about  $3.1 billion.

“No agreement has been reached, and there is no assurance that any transaction will result,” the company said. “Regal Entertainment Group does not intend to make any further comment, or respond to any inquiries, until an agreement, if any, is reached, or discussions have been terminated.”

Reuters, citing unnamed sources, first reported the talks. Regal is valued at $2.83 billion, based on trading Tuesday. Shares jumped $1.38 to $19.63 in heavy trading following the report before being halted on the New York Stock Exchange.

Regal, the second biggest cinema chain in the U.S. with over 7,300 screens, attempted to sell itself in 2014 and hired Morgan Stanley to evaluate options, then announced in early 2015 it wouldn’t try to find a buyer.

Regal announced on Oct. 25  that it will test demand-based pricing for film tickets in several markets early next year through its partnership with mobile ticketing app maker Atom Tickets. It also reported on the same day third-quarter earnings and revenues that topped Wall Street estimates while attendance fell 14% to 44.69 million customers. Revenue dropped 12% to $716 million, which the company blamed on the unimpressive slate of movies.

“In a challenging third-quarter box office environment, we were pleased that our ongoing focus on customer amenities had a positive impact on our market share and operating metrics,” CEO Amy Miles said at the time.

Regal is based in Knoxville, Tenn. Billionaire Philip Anschutz has a controlling stake with about 10% of the shares. Its major brands are Regal Cinemas, Edwards Theatres, and United Artists Theatres. London-based Cineworld is the second largest cinema operator in Europe with more than 2,000 screens at 221 sites in nine countries. Cineworld’s largest shareholder is Global City Holdings BV.

A combined Regal-Cineworld would be able to compete more effectively with AMC Entertainment, which is controlled by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, along with digital distributors such as Netflix and Apple.

AMC is the largest chain in the world with 2,200 screens in 244 theatres in Europe and over 8,200 screens in 661 theatres in the United States. AMC bought the Carmike chain last year for $1.1 billion in the last major deal in the exhibition sector. AMC also acquired Europe’s Odeon chain for $1.2 billion last year.

 

More Film

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, DreamWorks Animation claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” Ads placed for the fantasy film had an estimated media value [...]

  • Marc Weinstock Mary Daily Paramount

    Paramount Pictures Names Mary Daily Co-President of Marketing, Distribution With Marc Weinstock

    Paramount Pictures has promoted Mary Daily, the current international marketing and home entertainment head, to co-president of worldwide marketing and distribution. Daily will join incoming co-president Marc Weinstock in the role. Variety previously, exclusively reported that Weinstock, former president of Annapurna Films, would be coming to the storied Hollywood lot to replace David Sameth. Both [...]

  • The Favourite Black Panther

    Audience for Best Picture Nominees Most Diverse in Years, Report Shows

    Theatergoers for Academy Awards best picture-nominated films have become younger and more diverse over the past four years, a report released exclusively to Variety showed. Movio, a Vista Group company which specializes in cinema marketing data analytics, said the changes in demographic shifts correspond to the best picture lineup becoming more diverse since the 2015 [...]

  • Emma Thompson

    Emma Thompson Exits Skydance Animation Movie 'Luck' Over John Lasseter Hire

    Emma Thompson has dropped out of the voice cast of Skydance Animation’s upcoming film “Luck,” a spokesperson for the actress told Variety. The beloved British star did some recording for the project, but dropped out in January, following John Lasseter’s hire to the top animation job at David Ellison’s studio, an insider close to the [...]

  • Daniel Kaluuya Lakeith Stanfield

    Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield in Talks to Star in Film About Black Panther Party Leader

    Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are in negotiations to star in the historical drama “Jesus Was My Homeboy” about Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton. The project is set up at Warner Bros. with “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler producing along with Charles King through his Marco production company. Executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content