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AMC Theater-Chain Parent Tries to Go Public Again

Reuters
Thursday, 13 Sep 2007 | 4:54 AM ET

A stronger summer box office apparently is encouraging the parent of the AMC theater chain to make a second attempt at taking the company public.

Kansas City-based AMC Entertainment Holdings filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, saying it plans to make an initial public offering for the company, the nation's second-largest theater operator.

A date for the IPO and proposed number or price for the shares weren't provided. But the company said it intended to use the money to pay off debts, including $400 million that then-parent Marquee Holdings borrowed in June after shelving a proposed IPO, citing "adverse market conditions."

Marquee used $275 million to pay its shareholders a special dividend and then formed the new parent company AMC Entertainment Holdings.

Since withdrawing the IPO, a slate of highly anticipated movies, including "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and "Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix," have generated big box office numbers, driving the movie industry to one of its best summers ever.

Through Aug. 26, movie theater attendance was up about 2.5%, to 978.6 million visits, according to box office data tracker Media By Numbers.

While attendance-per-screen figures are down from a year ago, a 4.6% rise in ticket prices has increased box office revenue 7.2% to $6.7 billion since the beginning of the year, the service reported.

AMC Entertainment said it earned $116 million during the fiscal year that ended March 29. It was the company's first annual profit in 10 years, thanks largely to its acquisition of rival Loews Cineplex Entertainment and an advertising partnership's initial public offering.

AMC reported last month that it earned $22.1 million during its first quarter, compared with a loss of $8 million during the year-ago period.

As of June, AMC owned, operated or held interest in 377 theaters, or a total of 5,300 movie screens, with the majority located in the United States and Canada.

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