RealD set for Friday's trading launch

Theatrical 3D vendor prices IPO at $16

NEW YORK -- Theatrical 3D vendor RealD priced its initial public offering at $16 on Thursday ahead of a trading launch set for Friday.

Looking to cash in on marketplace enthusiasm for all things 3D, the leasor of 3D systems to theater circuits will raise about $200 million in the offering. RealD originally had said it would price shares at $12-$15 and raise $150 million.

The Beverly Hills-based company plans to use the cash for debt repayment and general purposes.

IPOs have been rare since the nation's financial crisis first hit and even rarer in the entertainment sector.

Indie film finance and production firm the Film Department filed for an IPO late in 2009 but has yet to launch. Current TV killed its planned IPO due to market conditions in mid-2009, and the previous year visual-effects house Digital Domain scrapped its public launch.

The last successful public offerings were back in early 2007, when shares cinema advertising company National CineMedia and theater operator Cinemark began trading.

The former opened at $25.31 in February 2007 and leaped 22% on its first day. On Thursday, it closed at $18.04, or a market capitalization of $778 million.

Cinemark opened in April 2007 at $18.91, declined slightly on its opening day. The shares closed at $14.01 on Thursday, for a market a value of $1.57 billion.

In the second quarter, a total 39 U.S. companies went public -- or 68% more than in the previous year -- but 17 canceled IPOs amid market turbulence, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.
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