Blackstone Sells Half Its Stake in Cineworld

(Reuters) – Cineworld Group Plc (CINE.L) said on Friday private equity giant Blackstone Group (BX.N) sold more than half its stake in the British cinema chain for about 62.9 million pounds ($102.8 million) in a secondary placing.

The company, which operates cinema complexes throughout the UK and Ireland, said Blackstone sold 38.1 million shares in Cineworld at 165 pence a share, lowering its holding to 20 percent.

“We believe today’s placing reflects Cineworld’s significant outperformance compared to the wider stock market since its IPO in 2007,” Chief Executive Steve Wiener said in a statement.

Last month, Cineworld posted a 33 percent rise in first-half pretax profit as a string of blockbusters drove admissions, and said it was on track to meet market expectations for the year.

Cineworld shares were down 8 percent at 165 pence at 1205 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. ($1=.6118 Pound) (Reporting by Tresa Sherin Morera in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair )