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Big movie theater merger in the works

British movie theater operator Cineworld said that it is in talks to buy U.S. peer Regal Entertainment for around $3.6 billion in cash, or $23 per share (26% premium over yesterday's closing price). No final agreement has been signed.

  • Why it matters: A merger would create the world's second-largest movie theater chain by number of screens, behind Dalian Wanda's AMC.
  • Bottom line: "Regal and fellow U.S. theater chains are under pressure as movie attendance has stagnated and many films this year have failed to meet expectations at the box office. The summer season -- usually the most lucrative for the industry -- was the worst since 2006." — Bloomberg