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Regal Cinemas Considers More Theater Closings

February 15, 2001|From Bloomberg

Regal Cinemas Inc. is considering closing as much as 30% of its theaters, as the largest U.S. cinema chain jettisons money-losing locations in a struggle to repay almost $2 billion of debt.

The chain, owned by buyout firms Hicks Muse Tate & Furst Inc. and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., already has shut 61, or 14%, of its theaters, said Dick Westerling, a spokesman for Knoxville, Tenn.-based Regal, and could close 26 to 69 more.

"We don't have a target number, but we continue to evaluate each individual theater" for profitability, Westerling said.

Last June, Regal operated 430 theaters with 4,485 screens. The company now has 375 with 4,219 screens, including some newly opened theaters.

The company on Wednesday would not say which theaters would be shuttered in the new round of closures.

Regal has hired consultants to devise restructuring plans that include asset sales, a recapitalization or reorganization in Bankruptcy Court, according to a November filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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