Curtains for Reading International?

Shareholders could call for breakup of theater chain with properties in NYC

New York /
Nov.November 03, 2015 11:11 AM

The feuding heirs to theater chain Reading International are preparing to sit down at board meeting next week when investors are likely to call for either a break-up or sale of the company’s real estate holdings, which include a number of theaters in New York City.

James Cotter Jr. and sisters Margaret and Ellen Cotter are battling in court over shares representing 70 percent of the Los Angeles-based Reading, which owns theaters in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

The company owns several theaters in New York City, including the Angelika Film Center, the Paris Theatre and Village East Cinema. It also owns Cinema 1, 2 & 3 on Third Avenue and the Union Square Theatre, both of which the company is redeveloping.

The bad blood followed the death of patriarch James Cotter Sr. in 2014. Earlier this year the board ousted James Jr. as CEO.

Meanwhile, investors such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have been becoming more active. Cuban, who co-owns the Landmark Theatres chain, is the second-largest holder of Reading’s voting shares with 13.1 percent.

Though he’s stayed mum so far, observers expect him to take a position at the Nov. 10 meeting, when nine directors are up for election.

“The Cotter sibling dispute is likely to result in at least one or more of the heirs favoring a break-up or sale of the company,” activist investor Andrew Shapiro of Lawndale Capital Management wrote in August. “With Mark Cuban potentially on the sidelines with business interests synergistic with Reading’s US operations, and [Dalian Wanda Group Corp. Ltd.’s] new sizable interests in Australia and New Zealand, interesting alliances may form in the future to accelerate the pace of favorable change for Reading shareholders.” [The Deal]Rich Bockmann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
 Fredrik Eklund and the property (Getty, Steve Frankel)
Fredrik Eklund lists Bel Air mansion for rent as family moves to “forever home”
Fredrik Eklund lists Bel Air mansion for rent as family moves to “forever home”
Gordon Ramsey and his Lucky Cat restaurant (Lucky Cat)
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Lewis Hamilton and 443 Greenwich Street (Getty, 443 Greenwich)
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton trades Tribeca penthouse for $50M
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton trades Tribeca penthouse for $50M
Mustang, Texas is now owned by billionaire Mark Cuban. (J Elmer Turner Realtors, Inc.)
Mark Cuban buys a Mustang (well, a town called Mustang) in Texas
Mark Cuban buys a Mustang (well, a town called Mustang) in Texas
Former Boston Celtic Kemba Walker sells Boston mansion in off-market deal
Former Boston Celtic Kemba Walker sells Boston mansion in off-market deal
Former Boston Celtic Kemba Walker sells Boston mansion in off-market deal
Vanilla Ice and Mark Alfieri
Vanilla Ice is back with a new home makeover show
Vanilla Ice is back with a new home makeover show
Making money moves: Cardi B buying up real estate
Making money moves: Cardi B buying up real estate
Making money moves: Cardi B buying up real estate
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...