NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES/BANGALORE Theater operator AMC Entertainment Inc filed with U.S. regulators on Wednesday to raise up to $450 million in an initial public offering of common stock.
The filing comes ahead of the pricing and debut of another movie-related new issue, 3D tech company RealD Inc RLD.N. RealD, whose technology was featured in the movie "Avatar", hopes to raise about $150.5 million in an offering scheduled to price on Thursday after the close of U.S. markets.
"3D as a theme is important to both of these IPOs," said RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank.
"The momentum of 3D and a shift in sentiment in the broader market and the new issue market certainly seem to be driving this," he said. "People are feeling a little less risk averse and want to take advantage of the window while its open."
The 3D film business got a kickstart when "Avatar" became the highest-grossing movie of all time. Hollywood is now rushing to meet demand for more 3D ventures with films including "Toy Story 3" while theaters are rapidly upgrading their venues, spending an estimated $3 billion in North America alone.
This is the second attempt at an IPO for Kansas City, Missouri-based AMC. The company first filed for a $500 million IPO in September 2007 but pulled the deal in October 2008 saying it had decided not to proceed with the offering, but did not give a reason.
AMC's revenue grew 6.7 percent to $2.42 billion in the year ended April 1. The company swung to a $79.91 million profit from a $149.05 million loss a year earlier, according to the new prospectus.
AMC, formerly called AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, plans to use the proceeds from the offering to repay debt. Shareholders in the company include funds affiliated with JPMorgan, Apollo, Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group, and Spectrum Equity Investors.
JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are leading the underwriters on the offering. The filing did not reveal how many shares the company plans to sell, the expected price range or specify an exchange. It did say the stock is expected to trade under the symbol "AMC".
(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore, Clare Baldwin in New York and Sue Zeidler in Los Angeles; Editing by Don Sebastian and Sofina Mirza-Reid)