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Shares of British cinema operator Cineworld plunged 17 per cent after confirming it is in “advanced discussions” to buy the US chain Regal Entertainment for $3.6bn (£2.7bn).
Cineworld shares were the biggest losers on the FTSE 250 today, which overall was trading higher.
Cineworld, which also owns the Picturehouse chain, wants to establish a presence outside the UK, and said that Tennessee-based Regal would provide it with “a highly attractive platform in the world’s largest cinema market”.
It also said it has already secured support from its largest shareholder for a rights issue if the deal goes ahead.
Cineworld has so far proved successful in rebuffing the competition, and last month said its revenue in the period between Jan 1 and Nov 16 was up 10.6 per cent. It’s slate for 2017 had been strong, including films such as Paddington 2.