Cinema company to divest some theaters in $210M acquisition

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest movie theater company, for the first time has accepted an antitrust settlement with the Justice Department so it can buy a smaller theater company.

Knoxville-based Regal announced Wednesday it's completed a $210 million cash deal for 28 theaters owned by Charlotte, N.C.-based Consolidated Theatres in the Carolinas, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia.

Regal already owns 525 theaters in 39 states. But it will have to shed four theaters to settle a Justice Department complaint filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., claiming the Consolidated deal could give Regal a monopoly in some North Carolina cities where it already owns theaters.

Regal attorney Peter Brandow says Regal accepted the settlement, without admitting guilt, so it could absorb the Consolidated theaters before the summer blockbusters arrive.

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