Digital Cinema Destinations Start Media to Acquire UltraStar Cinemas

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Thu, 12/13/2012 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Digital Cinema Destinations (Digiplex) and new joint venture partner Start Media have agreed to acquire seven movie theaters with an aggregate of 74 fully digital screens from UltraStar Cinemas. Six of the theaters are located in the Southern California/San Diego market and the seventh is based near Phoenix Arizona. The acquisitions were expected to be completed December 14. If the acquisitions were completed Digiplex's circuit would expand from 9 to 16 locations with 159 screens located in California Pennsylvania Connecticut New Jersey and Arizona. The aggregate purchase price for the theaters is anticipated to be approximately $13 million. Alan Grossberg CEO of UltraStar said We are very pleased about reaching this mutually beneficial acquisition agreement with Digiplex. They are very well respected pioneers of digital cinema and have developed an intriguing and ambitious growth strategy. As stakeholders we look forward to sharing in the rewards of their future success. Digiplex chairman and CEO Bud Mayo said The accretive purchase of UltraStar's seven West Coast-based theaters is a logical next step for Digiplex as we continue to successfully execute our strategy of opportunistically expanding the company's footprint across the U.S. in leading DMAs. This marks our third acquisition of the year and significantly expands and diversifies Digiplex's revenue and operating base while delivering incremental value to all stakeholders. Bud and the Digiplex team represent both a best-in-class operator and a champion of forward-thinking models and practices and we view this partnership as a tremendous opportunity said Michael Maher CEO of Start Media. Having explored several ways to enter the exhibition business we believe there is considerable opportunity for growth and innovation as the industry rapidly evolves on a digital platform. We believe we have found in Digiplex the ideal partner to address the future challenges facing the industry and we look forward to helping them continue to build a national footprint. Upon completion of the transaction we plan to quickly integrate these additional screens onto the growing Digiplex platform anticipating further benefit from our organization's digital management experience as well as the company's alternative programming and social media outreach expertise. We are also very pleased about forging this new joint venture with Start Media and hope it will be a long and very productive partnership said Mayo.