Movie Theater Chain AMC Entertainment Moves Ahead With IPO Plans

The company, which was taken private by private equity firms in 2004, previously said it will raise up to $450 million by returning to a stock market listing.

NEW YORK -- AMC Entertainment, the second-largest U.S. film exhibitor, said Monday that it will move ahead with plans to raise money and return to a stock market listing via an IPO.

It has been owned by private equity firms since going private in 2004.

Last summer, AMC said it planned to raise as much as $450 million in an IPO.

It didn't provide latest IPO figures, such as the expected number of shares and their likely price, on Monday. The timing of an IPO also remains unclear amid a recent stock market slump. But the company did disclose Monday that JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs will serve as the lead underwriters for the IPO.
In a regulatory filing, the movie theater group, which operates 361 theaters and 5,203 screens in the U.S. and Canada, said it plans to use the IPO proceeds along with cash on hand to repay debt. It also plans to make a $26.1 million lump sum payment to its current investors pursuant to a fee agreement.

Finance firms JPMorgan, Apollo Investment Fund and Bain Capital Investors are among the shareholders of Kansas City, Mo.-based AMC. Gerry Lopez leads the exhibitor as president and CEO.

AMC had filed for IPOs in 2006 and 2007 but withdrew both attempts amid a weak market reception and volatile markets.

Exhibition stocks have gotten a mixed reception amid steady box office and such concerns as an emerging premium VOD, or early release, window for films in cable and satellite TV households. Shares of exhibition giant Regal Entertainment dropped last year, but its performance for shareholders is better when including dividend payments.

Year-to-date, Regal shares have risen from $11.74 to $13.62.