In-Theater Ad Seller National CineMedia to Buy Rival Screenvision

Deal Comes Even as National CineMedia Reports a Wider Loss

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National CineMedia, the largest supplier of pre-movie commercials in theaters, has agreed to buy Screenvision, its nearest competitor, for $375 million in cash and stock.

National CineMedia, based in Centennial, Colo., will pay $225 million in cash and $150 million in stock for New York- based Screenvision, according to a statement today.

NCM's theater advertising network includes over 19,800 screens, compared with 14,200 screens for Screenvision, according to the companies. Its "FirstLook" pre-movie show combines movie promos with national and local ads.

The merger will create a company with a presence in 210 markets and more than 3,900 theaters, according to National CineMedia. The company delivers advertising to theaters run by AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings Inc., Regal Entertainment Group and others. The three chains are also majority owners of the advertising network.

The deal will "position the combined new company to be much more competitive in the expanding video and overall advertising marketplace, including the new online and mobile advertising platforms," National CineMedia Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Hall said in the statement.

Separately, National CineMedia said its loss widened to $3.1 million in the first quarter. For the second quarter, the company expects revenue to be down as much as 21%.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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