Cineworld sets IPO price

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LONDON -- Cineworld Group, the U.K.'s second-largest exhibition chain, on Friday said that the initial pricing for its upcoming floatation on the London Stock Exchange will be £1.70 ($3.40).

The floatation was planned in May last year but shelved in June due to what the company termed "unsatisfactory market conditions" at the time.

The price puts the company float value at just shy of £241 million ($483 million) and Cineworld plans to use the proceeds to pair down group debt.

U.S. private equity group Blackstone owns 90% of Cineworld and will list 43.3% of the company's shares on the market, the note to the stock exchange said.

Blackstone's stake following the IPO will be 53.5%, with the board and management retaining a 3.2% shareholding.

"Blackstone has been a strong supporter of the company over the last three years, having backed us in our acquisition of UGC as well as growing the company through investment in new and existing sites," Cineworld chief executive and co-founder Steve Weiner said.

JPMorgan Cazenove and Lehman Brothers are acting as a joint global co-ordinators.

Said Blackstone senior managing director Larry Guffey: "We are delighted to have had the opportunity to support Steve Wiener and his management team in building Cineworld into one of the leading operators it is today. We remain as the company's largest shareholder and look forward to continued growth and an expanded investor base."
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