×
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

  • Woolsey Fire Malibu

    Many Malibu Areas Still Off-Limits for Filming After Fire

    The California Film Commission has maintained its ban on filming in several Malibu areas hit by the massive Woolsey fire in Southern California last month. The commission announced Tuesday that due to continued clean-up and repair work along Pacific Coast Highway, permits for filming on the highway are not being issued at this time. PCH [...]

  • Against the Clock

    Film News Roundup: Andy Garcia's Spy Thriller 'Against the Clock' Bought by Gravitas

    In today’s film news roundup, Andy Garcia’s spy thriller is sold, “Battlestar Galactica” gets a screenwriter, and Brooklyn Decker gets an award. ACQUISITION Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to spy thriller “Against the Clock,” starring Andy Garcia, Dianna Agron (“Glee”), and Justin Bartha, Variety has learned exclusively. The film, formerly titled “Headlock,” is [...]

  • 'Pacific Rim Uprising' film premiere

    John Boyega in Talks to Star in Legal Drama 'A Naked Singularity'

    “Star Wars” actor John Boyega is in talks to star in the legal drama “A Naked Singularity” with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions on board to produce. The movie is based on Sergio De La Pava’s debut novel, which centers on a successful New York public defender whose life begins to unravel after he loses [...]

  • Penny Marshall Dead Obit

    Remembering Penny Marshall, Who Forged Her Own Path and Paved the Way for Others

    She was a natural comedian — fearless and funny, willing to trade on her natural Bronx brogue to craft a sassy and street-wise character that was tailor-made for sitcoms. But Penny Marshall, who died Monday night at the age of 75, proved throughout her long career that she had so much more in the way [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Outpacing 'Wonder Woman' in Fandango Pre-Sales

    Pre-sales of “Aquaman,” which opens on Thursday night, are outpacing “Wonder Woman” at the same point in the advance ticket sales cycle on online ticketer Fandango. “Wonder Woman” opened with $103 million domestically during the June 2 to June 4, 2017, weekend on its way to a $412 million North American total for Warner Bros. “Aquaman,” [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Box Office: 'Aquaman,' 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Box Office: 'Aquaman' Battles 'Mary Poppins Returns' in Crowded Holiday Weekend

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most competitive time at the multiplexes. This weekend sees two very different heroes vying for the box office crown with “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” both eyeing sizable debuts. “Mary Poppins Returns” is getting a head start by opening on Wednesday, though estimates show “Aquaman” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content