Two major cinema acquisitions took place over late December and January. Rave Motion Pictures restructured as Rave Cinemas LLC and purchased 29 sites from National Amusements. This will rank Rave as the 5th largest circuit in the US. The company was restructured to bring in new capital, the new investors being TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, Lambert Media Group, and Charles Moss Jr. Rave was founded in 1999, and is led by Tom Stephenson, former CEO of Hollywood Theatres. Rave was an early adopter of digital cinema in the Cinedigm Phase 1 program.
The second acquisition was that of Kerasotes Theatres by AMC. Up until 2003, Kerasotes Theatres was a family owned business. Upon the desire of older family members to cash out, Providence Equity Partners stepped in with a $75M partial buy-out, taking control of less than 50% of the company. However, Providence had the option to sell after 7 years, which triggered the sale process. Not all sites were included in the sale, as Dean and Tony Kerasotes will retain control of their new upscale ICON theatres. ICON is an all-digital circuit, with equipment purchased directly and not through a VPF deployment entity. The sale was a score for Sony, who will include the newly acquired 900+ Kerasotes screens in its rollout for AMC.