Marcus Theatres is set to add an additional 197 screens to its circuit with the acquisition of 14 Wehrenberg Theatres locations in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri.
The acquisition represents a 29% increase in screen count for Marcus, which will operate a total of 885 screens at 68 locations across 8 states upon closing, expected to come before the end of the year. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed in an official press release issued on November 21.
“Acquisitions are an important component of our growth strategy and we are pleased to add the Wehrenberg Theatres locations to our circuit. The acquisition demonstrates our continued confidence in our theatre business. It will expand our presence in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota and extends our footprint into Missouri,” said Gregory S. Marcus, president and chief executive officer of The Marcus Corporation in an official statement. “We anticipate a smooth integration of Wehrenberg Theatres into our circuit and expect the acquisition will be accretive to both earnings and cash flow.”
Of the 14 locations acquired, 9 are in the Greater St. Louis area; one each in Cape Girardeau and Lake Ozark, Missouri; one in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; one in Rochester, Minnesota; and one in Bloomington, Illinois. As part of the deal, Marcus Theatres will also acquire the real estate for six of the locations, as well as an 84,000 square foot retail center located in St. Louis.
“Wehrenberg Theatres is highly respected in the industry, having served generations of moviegoers in four states with its premium service and strong family values,” stated Rolando B. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of Marcus Theatres, in a press release. “ We will retain the Wehrenberg name on the acquired theatres. In addition, we look forward to working with the company’s associates to continue the tradition of excellence built by the Wehrenberg family. Once the transaction is completed, we plan to enhance the moviegoing experience at select theatres with features and amenities including our DreamLounger recliner seating, premium large-format screens and signature food and beverage concepts.”
Ronald P. Krueger inherited Wehrenberg Theatres in 1963, at the age of 22, and operated the chain alongside wife Midge, until his passing. The couple were strong supporters of industry charities such as the Will Rogers Foundation, Variety – The Children’s Charity of St. Louis, The Salvation Army, Shriners Hospital for Children, among many others.
“We are pleased Marcus Theatres will carry on the dedication to our customers and communities that has been a hallmark of Wehrenberg Theatres since 1906. Our two companies share the same philosophy – providing customers with the best entertainment experience possible. We were fortunate to find another family-led circuit which also understands the extra commitment it takes to serve our neighborhoods,” said William E. (Bill) Menke, president of Wehrenberg Theatres, in a statement.
Marcus Theatres was assisted in the transaction by Peter J. Solomon Company, while The Fortune Group advised on behalf of Wehrenberg Theatres.