Regal moving jobs to Knoxville from Denver

Some jobs will be moving to Regal Entertainment Group’s Knoxville headquarters from the company’s Denver satellite office by the end of the year, but how many people are affected — and how the moves may affect Regal’s function here — remains unknown.

Richard Grover, Regal’s vice president of communications, confirmed the Denver office closure via email to the News Sentinel. It will be a net gain for Knoxville, he said.

'Regal will be closing our Denver satellite office at the end of the year as we consolidate all corporate operations to our Knoxville headquarters,” Grover wrote. “With this consolidation, all Denver personnel have been offered the opportunity to transfer. With the increase of business functions in Knoxville, we have expanded our employee base by 12% in our hometown from the time of the Cineworld acquisition in early 2018.'

But he did not answer questions on employee numbers or how corporate functions may change.

At the start of 2019 Regal reported having 561 Knoxville-area employees — a combination of corporate office and theater workers — so a 12% increase would add about 67 people. There is no indication how many employees will move from Denver to Knoxville, or if any of the affected employees will be able to take Regal jobs elsewhere.

Moves and growth

It’s a time of change for Regal, which is moving its headquarters office from suburban Knoxville to a tower on the south riverfront.

Regal announced in 2016 it would move into a nine-story building at 101 E. Blount Ave. on Knoxville’s redeveloping South Waterfront.

That deal includes a $12.5 million incentive package. But in the midst of those plans — early 2018 — Regal was bought by U.K.-based Cineworld Group. Recently Cineworld reported its preliminary financial results for last year, including its takeover of Regal.

2018 was a transformative year for Cineworld Group.

The acquisition of Regal on 28 February made us into a global operator and the second largest cinema chain in the world,” Anthony Bloom, chairman of Cineworld Group, said in a news release.

“By the end of 2018, the Group was operating 9,518 screens in 790 sites across 10 countries.”

He hinted at further “development plans for the U.S. Regal, which had 561 theaters in 43 states and some U.S. possessions, had faced several quarters of declining revenue as the movie industry changed.

But the combined company’s U.S. box office revenue was up 7.2% from 2017, which the financial report attributed in part to several blockbuster movies.

Ticket prices were up 2.2% — partly due to inflation, but also due to more customer spending on watching movies in high-tech formats, the report said.

Retail revenue was up 8.2% from 2017, due in part to more food and alcohol choices.

The company’s U.S. outlets added alcohol at 35 locations and expanded food offering at 14.

In July 2018, Regal’s former West Town Mall 9 theater reopened as a Cinebarre offering a full-service restaurant and bar after seven months of renovation.

The nine-screen theater now has electronically-controlled recliners with tray tables and in-theater food service.

Company sale

Cineworld announced on Dec. 5, 2017, that it would buy Regal, though Regal was a larger company.

As part of the deal most top Regal executives resigned, including CEO Amy Miles, founder-chairman emeritus Michael Campbell and all board members.

The Regal name is to survive as a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Cineworld.

“The acquisition was based on an implied enterprise value of $5.8 billion,” the latest Cineworld financial report said.

“Due to the size of the acquisition, it was classed as a reverse takeover under the U.K. Listing Rules, although not for accounting purposes.”

Cineworld wound up paying $3.4 billion in cash for Regal stock, and borrowed $4.1 billion more, according to the report. The agreement included assumption of Regal’s debt.

“The previous financing arrangements in place as at 31 December 2017 for the Group and Regal have been settled and replaced with the new financing arrangements from 28 February 2018,” it said.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

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Published August 16, 2019