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IMAX Stock Gets A Boost

8 Jan, 2002 By: Hive News

IMAX Corp. stock got a 45 percent boost today after the company announced it and wholly owned subsidiary Mitey Cinemas, Inc. bought back an additional $42 million in debt.

Together with previously reported transactions, the company has retired approximately $90 million of its $100 million note issue.

The $90 million of notes were repurchased in exchange for cash and 1.7 million common shares at an aggregate average cost of less than 24 percent of face value, a publicist reported.

"The retirement of 90 percent of these notes virtually eliminates any April 2003 refinancing risk and puts IMAX on a solid financial footing to implement our long-term growth strategy," said IMAX co-c.e.o.s Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "We were able to retire these notes at a significant discount to face value, 24c on the dollar, while maintaining an appropriate level of cash to run our business. Almost all of our remaining debt consists of our Senior Notes due December of 2005."

The news gave the Canadian firm's stock price a $1.18 kick to $3.70 on Nasdaq, with more than 921,000 shares traded. In Toronto, the stock rose C$1.82 to C$5.83 and traded more than 173,000 shares.

"Along with this significant retirement of debt, 2002 has begun very well with the strong performance of Disney's Beauty and the Beast," they noted. "Our improved financial position allows IMAX to further benefit from this year's strong film slate, technological advances and the strengthening condition of our customer base. This transaction will create significant value for our shareholders and gives us increased optimism about IMAX's future."

As of September, more than 220 IMAX theatres were operating in 30 countries.

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