LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sumner Redstone’s holding company, National Amusements Inc., is selling its Russian theater chain to Redstone’s daughter and other investors in a further move to pay down its debts.
The 86-year-old billionaire media mogul has been selling off theaters and stock in media giants CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. to fend off creditors.
His company ran into problems last year with some $1.46 billion in debt it owed as stocks tumbled and credit markets seized up. But it laid out a comprehensive asset-sales plan in October to emerge from the crisis with Redstone’s control of CBS and Viacom intact.
On Thursday, daughter Shari Redstone said she was buying Rising Star Media from National Amusements with the help of UFG Private Equity of Russia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The younger Redstone, who owns 20 percent of National Amusements compared to her father’s 80 percent, will become chairman of the new entity.
Rising Star owns six multiplex theaters in Russia, all of which are equipped to show 3-D movies. One theater in St. Petersburg and one in Moscow also have IMAX systems.
The company plans to expand in Russia under the Kinostar brand.
Late last year, National Amusements reached a deal to sell off up to 35 of its U.S. theaters to Rave Cinemas LLC. It also sold CBS and Viacom nonvoting shares that raised nearly $1 billion in cash.
National Amusements is holding onto 28 theaters, with 368 screens, located in Massachusetts and New York. Its theaters operate under other brand names, including Showcase, The Bridge and Multiplex Cinemas.