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Shari Redstone buys Russian theater chain from her family's National Amusements Inc.

January 7, 2010 |  9:30 am

Shari Redstone and a private equity firm have acquired the Russian movie theater chain Rising Star Media from her family-owned theater circuit National Amusements Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Redstone and her father, media mogul Sumner Redstone, have been selling off theaters to help pay National Amusement's outstanding debt. They recently reached a deal to offload 35 U.S. theaters to  Texas-based Rave Cinemas.

The Russian circuit, which Shari Redstone co-founded with Paul Heth in 2002 and has been her passion project, is made up of six theaters in Moscow and St. Petersburg, five of which are the top-grossing cinemas in Russia.

Redstone said she planned to aggressively expand the theater chain under its established Russian brand name Kinostar. Redstone, who bought the chain with Charles Ryan of UFG Private Equity of Russia, will be chairman of the new entity, and Heth will serve as president.

Shari Redstone remains the president of Norwood, Mass.-based National Amusements, which operates more than 1,000 screens in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America.

-- Claudia Eller