Sundance Cinemas chain is for sale
Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinemas is putting itself up for sale.
Sundance Cinemas said in a statement that it has hired the investment bank Salem Partners to find a buyer for the small L.A.-based theater chain.
The company is among several entities overseen by Redford, including the Sundance Channel and the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The celebrated actor, producer and director also is part-owner in Sundance Cinemas but is no longer an executive of the company.
Executives declined to specify the reasons for the planned sale, but a person close to the company said private equity backers were looking to cash out their investment. Los Angelesbased Oaktree Capital Management is the primary investor in Sundance.
Other larger circuits have been testing the waters at a time when theaters are grappling with long-term declines in attendance.
Carmike Cinemas, the nation’s fourth-largest theater chain, has reportedly hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to evaluate its options, including a possible sale. Regal Entertainment Group, which operates the nation’s largest theater chain, last year also hired JPMorgan to consider strategic options, including a sale. In January, however, the chain said it had withdrawn those plans.
The chain was launched in 2005 and operates five high-end theaters mainly devoted to independent movies, including the 630seat Sunset Sundance Cinema in West Hollywood, which opened in 2012. The company also has theaters in Madison, Wis., San Francisco, Houston and Seattle.