Business

Carmike grabs two more movie complexes for $5.4 million, continuing its diet of buyouts, new and renovated theaters

BY TONY ADAMS

tadams@ledger-enquirer.com

Carmike Cinemas has pulled the trigger on a $5.4 million purchase of two Northeast theaters from competitor AMC, continuing its steady stream of acquisitions, newly built theaters and conversions of old complexes to state-of-the-art amenities and technology.

The company, headquartered in Columbus, said the deals for the East Windsor Town Center 10 theater in East Windsor, N.J., and the Berlin 12 Theatre in Berlin, Conn., were paid for in cash. Leawood, Kan.-based AMC Entertainment Holdings, which operates AMC Theatres, had bought the two movie complexes as part of its overall buyout of Starplex Cinemas last year, but were ordered to sell them following a U.S. Department of Justice review of the sale, Carmike said.

“The two theaters are located in markets with limited geographic overlap with our existing theater circuit, and are a perfect complement to our growing presence in the Northeast,” Carmike President and Chief Executive David Passman said in a statement.

AMC is the second-largest movie theater chain in the U.S., behind Knoxville, Tenn.-based Regal Entertainment, and just ahead of Plano, Texas-based Cinemark Theatres. Carmike is the fourth-largest company.

The Columbus firm said both of its newly acquired theaters were renovated within the past couple of years. That fits with the perpetual upgrade of its own theater complexes since 2010 through remodeling or replacement via new structures built by real-estate developers and leased long term by Carmike.

The company, which now has 275 theaters (2,942 screens) in 41 states, also has been expanding its footprint through various strategic acquisitions. Major deals have included 16 theaters bought from Rave Reviews Cinemas in 2012; nine properties from Muvico Entertainment in 2013; and five theaters from Sundance Cinemas in 2015.

Its stock sold publicly on the NASDAQ exchange, Carmike shares are now trading at just under $22 apiece. The stock’s 52-week range is $18.93 to $34.94 per share.

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