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Screenvision Sells to Abry Partners

Private equity firm Abry Partners has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in Screenvision Media.

The company’s existing owners, Shamrock Capital and AMC Entertainment, will retain minority positions in the cinema advertising company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source with knowledge of the pact confirmed that Screenvision sold for $380 million. The sale is expected to be finalized this summer.

In 2014, Screenvision attempted to merge with National Cinemedia, another provider of in-theater advertising, but the Justice Department blocked the sale citing anti-trust concerns. Last year, the company said it achieved record revenues and in a release announcing the sale it claimed to have tripled its profitability over the past three years.

“We see a very bright future for Screenvision,” said John Hunt, managing partner of Abry Partners, in a statement. “We look forward to partnering alongside and investing with their first-rate management team to help further unlock future growth for the company as well as their leading network of exhibitors.”

AMC said it expects to receive $45 million in cash for its stake. After going on a buying spree in recent years with its purchase of Odeon Cinemas Group and Carmike Cinemas, AMC has begun to deleverage itself by selling off assets it terms “non-strategic.” Recently, the theater chain sold its 50% stake in Open Road Releasing, for $14.4 million, off-loaded shares of National CineMedia for for $98.5 million, and generated $128 million from a half-dozen sale leaseback agreements. The Screenvision stake is simply the latest such deal. AMC acquired its position in the company when it bought Carmike.

Moelis & Company served as financial adviser and Latham & Watkins LLP as legal adviser to Shamrock Capital on the Screenvision transaction. LionTree Advisors served as financial advisers and Kirkland & Ellis as legal adviser for Abry Partners. Deutsche Bank will provide debt financing for the purchase.

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