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Cineworld buying Regal movie chain in global expansion

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NEW YORK (AP) - Cineworld Group PLC is buying Regal Entertainment Group for $3.61 billion in a deal that gives the movie theater operator a larger global footprint.

Cineworld, based in the United Kingdom, is paying $23 cash per Regal share, marking an 11 percent premium over its closing price on Monday. The deal is valued at $5.9 billion including debt.

Regal, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, operates 7,315 screens in 561 theaters in the U.S. under brands including Regal Cinemas and United Artists. Cineworld operates 2,227 screens in nations including the U.K., Ireland, Poland, and Slovakia.

The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.

In morning trading, Regal shares rose 9.4 percent to $22.67. The stock is up 10 percent in the year to date.

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