Mark Cuban Sells Landmark Movie-Theater Chain to Cohen Media
(Bloomberg) -- Landmark Theatres, the independent movie chain backed by billionaire Mark Cuban, was purchased by Cohen Media Group, giving the buyers a well-known cinema brand with high-profile locations in major markets like New York and Los Angeles.
Cohen Media is acquiring a chain with 252 screens in 27 markets, according to a statement Tuesday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Before the current auction, Cuban and his partner Todd Wagner previously sought to sell the theaters in 2011.
The pair of investors, who acquired Landmark in 2003, are picking an opportune moment to exit. Industrywide, U.S. box-office sales are up 10 percent this year to almost $10.9 billion through last weekend, according to research firm Comscore Inc. The new owners plan to keep the management of Landmark, which is led by Chief Executive Officer Ted Mundorff.
Landmark’s theaters are known for art-house fare, and some high-end locations include coffee bars or lounges, setting them apart from the typical movie multiplex. Stephens Inc. served as financial adviser to Landmark in the transaction.
Closely held Cohen Media, based in New York, was founded in 2008 by Charles Cohen. It distributes films in North America and also restores classic movies. The company has released multiple Academy Award-nominated films, including “Timbuktu,” “Mustang,” and “The Salesman,” last year’s Oscar winner for best foreign language film.
Reading International Inc., owner of the Angelika and City Cinemas theaters, also has been the source of takeover speculation. It recently received a approach from a group of investors including Patton Vision LLC, private equity firms TPG and Madison Dearborn Partners and the Santo Domingo Group.
Amazon.com Inc. was said to have contemplated a Landmark deal, though it never moved forward. The e-commerce giant has been building its entertainment and media assets, including a film and TV studio and music service.
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