MILWAUKEE — Marcus Theatres, a division of The Marcus Corp., is buying the assets of Wehrenberg Theatres, based in St. Louis.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Wehrenberg Theatres is the oldest family-owned and operated theater circuit in the United States, with 197 screens at 14 locations in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. Upon completion of the transaction, Marcus Theatres will increase its number of screens by 29 percent, operating 885 screens at 68 locations in eight states.
The transaction is targeted to be completed in December 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, consents and approvals, the companies said Monday.
“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 theater 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 Corp. “We anticipate a smooth integration of Wehrenberg Theatres into our circuit and expect the acquisition will be accretive to both earnings and cash flow.”
Rolando B. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of Marcus Theatres, said, “Wehrenberg Theatres is highly respected in the industry, having served generations of moviegoers in four states with its premium service and strong family values. 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 theaters with features and amenities including our DreamLoungerSM recliner seating, premium large-format screens and signature food and beverage concepts.”
The late Ronald P. Krueger inherited Wehrenberg Theatres in 1963 at the age of 22. Ron and his wife, Midge, operated the chain for many years and were very active in the St. Louis community. They strongly supported charities such as Will Rogers Foundation, Variety – The Children’s Charity of St. Louis, The Salvation Army, Shriners Hospital for Children and 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.
The 14 Wehrenberg Theatres locations include nine 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. In conjunction with the acquisition, Marcus Theatres will acquire the underlying real estate for six of the theatre locations, as well as Ronnie’s Plaza, an 84,000-square-foot retail center located at 5320 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in St. Louis.
Marcus Theatres was assisted in the transaction by Peter J. Solomon Co., while advisors for Wehrenberg Theatres were The Fortune Group.
About Marcus Theatres
Marcus Theatres, a division of The Marcus Corporation, is the fifth-largest theater circuit in the United States and currently owns or operates 688 screens at 54 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio.
About The Marcus Corp.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Marcus Corp. is involved in the lodging and entertainment industries, with significant company-owned real estate assets. In addition to its Marcus Theatres division, its lodging division, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, owns and/or manages 18 hotels, resorts and other properties in nine states.