Redstone may dodge debt bullet

posted by Michael Zoldessy on February 17, 2009 at 7:41 am

An interesting turn in the continued troubles of National Amusements.

In a conference call with analysts Thursday morning, Mr. Redstone announced that his privately held National Amusements Inc. was nearing an agreement to refinance $800 million in debt that was due this year. The company has a total of $1.6 billion in debt outstanding.

Mr. Redstone has been struggling with the debt issue since October, when National dumped $233 million of its holdings in Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. after declines in the media companies' value tripped a covenant with lenders.

Read more in Crain’s New York.

Comments (2)

ThomasRossi007 on February 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

Major media reports weeks back stated that 45 theaters totaling 600 screens might be sold.

In the Westchester County, NY area, rumor is that the Hawthorne, East 161 St, Bronx, locations may close and the Cross County Yonkers location will transition to Redstone’s soon to open Ridge Hill site up the road on the thruway opposite Stew Leonard’s. Now there is talk of Regal taking over the Cross County 20 year lease from Redstone. If this does occur, it’s quite problematic for Redstone’s new theater up the road, as many southern patrons driving north will continue patronizing the Cross County location which when it opened in 1993, took away much business from both General Cinema’s Central Plaza and UA Movieland up the road.

markp on February 18, 2009 at 5:37 am

I still cannot see how, with this economy, Redstone is going to come out of this without a major sell-off and closing of theatres. As my friend Tom mentioned above, here in New Jersey, several NA theatres have closed the past few years, including the Amboys (floor collapse) the All-Jersey in Newark, and the Atco. The only ones left now are Edgewater, Hazlet and West Windsor, as well as the Ritz in Haddonfield.
And in the past few years, Redstone has put an emphasis on the westchester area of New York. Its only been a few years since City Center opened in White Plains, and there already were seveal NA theatres in the area.

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