AMC Entertainment Holdings Acquires Starplex Cinemas for $175 Million

by Katie Sloan

Leawood, Kan. — AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC), a movie theater chain based in Leawood, has completed its acquisition of Starplex Cinemas for approximately $175 million.

Starplex owns 33 theaters spanning 346 screens in 12 states, primarily in small and mid-size markets.

“We are very pleased to welcome the Starplex Cinemas theaters into the AMC family, as we expand our guest experience strategy into new markets,” says Craig Ramsey, interim CEO of AMC. 

Included among the theater circuit are 90 recliner-reseated screens, with AMC planning to convert an additional 80 screens to recliner seating over the next several years.

Per the Department of Justice’s recommendation, AMC will divest two Starplex theaters as part of the transaction — Berlin 12 in Berlin, Conn., and East Windsor Town Center Plaza 10 in East Windsor, N.J. 

“This transaction adds a number of complementary non-urban and suburban markets to our portfolio, allowing us to serve a wider spectrum of guests while broadening our movie going appeal,” says Ramsey. “We believe that through this transaction, we’ve created value for guests and shareholders through the delivery of innovative new amenities, which is expected to deliver incremental revenue, earnings and operating cash flow and to position us for further growth.”

Trinity Hunt Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has been a partner of Starplex Cinemas since December 2012, helping the theater chain to expand to new locations and renovate existing theaters. Peter J. Solomon Co. advised Starplex on the transaction.

“We have greatly enjoyed working with the Starplex Cinemas management team to grow their theater circuit and enhance their reputation for providing customers with state-of-the-art amenities,” says Dan Dross, managing partner at Trinity Hunt Partners. “Our partnership proved to be successful, and with AMC, Starplex’s theaters are well positioned to continue providing a premier movie-going experience.”

After the divestures of Berlin 12 and East Windsor Town Center Plaza 10, the Starplex acquisition raises AMC’s total number of theaters to 379 totaling more than 5,260 screens. AMC’s stock price closed Wednesday, Dec. 16 at $25.40 per share, the exact same price as Dec. 17, 2014.

— John Nelson

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