KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Hollywood Theaters.
Exhibition industry watchers wondered whether Regal still had an appetite for acquisitions in November, when it announced a $155M special dividend. But today’s deal, following Regal’s $250M bond offering in January, should put that question to rest. Hollywood Theaters, which has 43 venues with 513 screens, had been looking for help before June, when $157M of its bonds are due. The companies say that Regal’s $191M cash payment will cover that. The No. 1 exhibition chain also picks up $47M in lease obligations. Investors seem pleased by the deal, which increases Regal’s screen count by 7.5%: Its shares are up about 2% in early trading. Even with the outlay, “Regal is well-positioned to once again generate results above expectations in 2013 driven by its leading industry position on a robust film slate (with higher 3D penetration) along with a well-capitalized balance sheet to take advantage of additional M&A opportunities,” B. Riley Caris’ Eric Wold says. Here’s today’s release: