Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) Postpones AMC Takeover Vote for the Second Time

Shares of Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (CKEC) were trading up +0.01 or +0.03 percent to $30.60 per share in Thursday’s aftermarket before the company postponed a shareholder vote on its merger with AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC) late yesterday. The vote was to be held at a Special Meeting of Stockholders which was scheduled for today, July 15th. Carmike Cinema stock closed at $30.59 per share, down -0.20 or -0.65 percent in Thursday’s regular trading session.

Stock Analysis

Columbus, Georgia based Carmike Cinemas Inc. was started in 1982 after the Fuqua Industries sale of Martin Theatres to Carl L.
Patrick Sr. The company has since become a domestic leader in digital and 3-D cinema and is one of the country’s largest motion picture exhibitors. The company operates 276 theatres with 2,954 screens in 41 United States. In addition, Carmike operates 55 premium large format venues which include 21 IMAX auditoriums, 32 “BigDs” and 2 MuvIXL screens. The company bills itself as “America’s Hometown Theatre Chain” due to its focus on medium sized communities. Carmike received an offer of $1.1 billion or $30 per share from AMC Entertainment Holdings on March 3rd, 2016.

The vote for the merger with AMC was originally planned for June 30th, nevertheless, the vote was postponed until July 15th due to some of Carmike’s largest shareholders stating that the current bid was too low, vowing to vote against the merger. In addition, two major shareholder advisory firms, Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services, advised shareholders to vote “no” on the proposal.

The second postponement for the vote was announced last night; however another report, also out last night suggests that AMC might sweeten its offer for Carmike, despite AMC Chief Executive, Adam Aron who had previously said that he was prepared to walk away from the deal instead of sweetening the offer. On Tuesday, AMC announced it would acquire European movie theater operator Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group in a deal worth approximately $1.21 billion, making the company the world’s largest movie theater operator.

In a press release on July 12th, AMC’s Aron said that, “AMC remains committed to moving forward with our plan to acquire Carmike Cinemas. However, as per our statement two weeks back, some Carmike shareholders have an unrealistic view as to Carmike’s value to AMC, and their resulting price expectations are simply beyond what AMC believes is prudent to pay. We have said all along that AMC is a disciplined buyer, and that very much continues to be the case. We intend to continue to work this week with Carmike to see if the AMC/Carmike transaction can be saved, but we again note that the economics of a transaction get marginal very quickly for AMC above the $30 deal price.”

In a report published last night, according to a source familiar with the matter, AMC was exploring the possibility of increasing its offer for Carmike, saying any price increase would be incremental and that Carmike might still decide to walk away. AMC, which is owned by the Dalian Wanda Group, a Chinese real estate firm, would become the number one movie theater chain in the United States through the acquisition.

Carmike declined to issue a statement on the news, while the Dalian Wanda Group could not be reached for comment.

Other News About CKEC

AMC to buy Odeon & UCI but Carmike deal at ‘considerable risk’

After announcing its acquisition of the European theater chain, AMC inferred that the deal with Carmike might be in jeopardy.

AMC: We're OK with or without Carmike deal

CEO Aron stated that the deal doesn’t make sense above the $30 per share AMC bid.

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Published on Jul 15, 2016
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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