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Sumner Redstone to unload 35 theaters including L.A.'s Bridge to help pay down debt


In addition to selling close to $1 billion in stock in CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. to help pay down his family-held company's excruciating debt, Sumner Redstone will unload 35 of National Amusement Inc.'s 79 U.S. theaters, including its only West Coast multiplex, The Bridge in Los Angeles, according to people familiar with the matter.

The bulk of the theaters that National is selling are primarily in the Midwest and south of New York, including those in Washington, D.C.

National Amusements, whose theater circuit is based outside Boston in Norwood, Mass., and is run by Sumner's daughter Shari Redstone, will hold on to 44 of its core U.S. theaters in the New England and New York regions.

The Redstones also plan to keep National Amusements' theaters in the United Kingdom and Brazil. Though father and daughter aren't saying, it is believed they will also keep their theaters in Russia, a burgeoning market where the circuit owns four out of the top six highest-grossing cinemas in the country. National's theaters in Argentina, however, are likely to eventually be sold but are not included in the original 35 to be divested.

Earlier this year it looked like Redstone's best option to pay down debt was to sell off most or all of his cinemas. He put the circuit up for auction, attracting a number of bids both from strategic players (other theater chains) and financial parties (including private equity firms). National's investment bankers are still sorting through those offers for the 35 theaters it now plans to sell.

--Claudia Eller and Meg James

Photo: National Amusements' The Bridge theater in Los Angeles. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times.

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Redstone to sell stock in CBS and Viacom to help pay down debt.

Comments () | Archives (3)

Hands down, the bridge is the best movie theater in the LA area. Cocktails and leather seats, with your popcorn?

I think Sumner is right to sell some of his assets to pay off debt. There is no use to keep accumulating debt if they are not making money. It is just a drain on the pocket book. Paying down the debt will make him able to manage his empire better.

Evelyn Guzman
http://www.debtchallenges.com (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)

You obviously have never been to Arclight Hollywood.


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