Cineplex Odeon Corp. confirmed Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire RKO Century Warner Theatres Inc., the second-largest movie theater chain in metropolitan New York. Toronto-based Cineplex said it would pay $179 million, primarily in cash and stock, for the 97-screen chain.
Instead of issuing its own shares, however, Cineplex said it will use 1.6 million shares of MCA Inc. that it acquired earlier this year when MCA bought a 50% stake in Cineplex. The MCA stock, valued at $80 million, represents just 2% of the Los Angeles-based entertainment company's outstanding shares.
The remainder of the purchase price will consist of $97.5 million in cash and a three-year note for $1.5 million.
With the RKO Century purchase, and four other acquisitions in less than a year, Cineplex appears to be the most aggressive buyer in a rapidly consolidating business.
According to published reports, however, Paramount Pictures is working hard to acquire its own key circuits to add to the 24-screen Trans-Lux chain in New York and Connecticut acquired earlier this week.