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Tri-Star Pictures to acquire cinema chain

NEW YORK -- Tri-Star Pictures Inc. Monday said it had agreed to acquire Loews Theater Management Corp. in a cash transaction.

Loews, formerly a unit of Loews Corp., operates 228 screens in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Indiana and Texas.

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Tri-Star refused to disclose the purchase price but was reported to be paying in excess of $200 million. Tri-Star said it intends to complete the transaction before the end of the year.

The purchase of Loews will make Tri-Star, which is jointly owned by Coca-Cola Co., Time Inc. and public shareholders, one of the largest theater operators in the country.

Tri-Star previously agreed to acquire the 1,150-screen United Artists theater chain from Tele-Communications Inc. after it gains control of United Artists Communications Inc. United Artists separately has agreed to acquire the 200-screen Gulf States theater chain.

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