25 Nov 2009

Sky City getting out of the cinema biz

8:22 am on 25 November 2009

Sky City Entertainment is selling its cinema operations for $59 million to Australian leisure operator Amalgamated Holdings, which already owns three movie chains across the Tasman.

The casino operator is selling its chain of 14 cinemas with nearly 100 screens, as well as its stake in the Rialto group and joint venture interests in Fiji.

The company tried unsuccessfully to sell the cinema business in 2006.

The deal is conditional as Amalagated Holdings is yet to carry out due diligence.

Sky City hopes the transaction will be completed by mid-February.

Goldman Sachs JB Were's head of research, Marcus Curley, says the sale does not come as a surprise. The company, he says, is likely to use the money to reduce its debt, which stands at around $640 million.

Cinemas account for 3% of Sky City's value.