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IMAX rebounds with stock buyback

Canada's IMAX Corporation can see the light at the end of the liability tunnel, as it closes in on its debt of US$100 million. Last month, the large format company bought back $90 million worth of notes, which were scheduled to come due in April 2003. IMAX co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler issued a statement that said, 'The retirement of 90% of these notes virtually eliminates any April 2003 re-financing risk and puts imax on a solid financial footing to implement our long-term growth strategy.' The company's senior debt of $200 million will come due in December 2005.
February 1, 2002

Canada’s IMAX Corporation can see the light at the end of the liability tunnel, as it closes in on its debt of US$100 million. Last month, the large format company bought back $90 million worth of notes, which were scheduled to come due in April 2003. IMAX co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler issued a statement that said, ‘The retirement of 90% of these notes virtually eliminates any April 2003 re-financing risk and puts imax on a solid financial footing to implement our long-term growth strategy.’ The company’s senior debt of $200 million will come due in December 2005.

A year ago, IMAX watched as its stock prices plummeted in the face of an uncertain commercial exhibition market. As a result, the company was forced to implement a corporate restructuring plan that saw staff numbers drop below 700, from 1,000. Prior to that, imax had been actively seeking a buyer, but a company spokesperson confirmed that is no longer the case.

In other imax news, the Smithsonian Institute has signed on for a third IMAX theater, which will be located at the Air and Space Museum’s new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The Smithsonian will also upgrade its first theater to a 3D system.

On the production front, IMAX has partnered with the National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) to develop and produce a film about the behind-the-wheel action during competitions. Filming is slated to begin this year, with a worldwide release planned for 2003.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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