Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services, cinema screens and other cinema products, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the Joliette, Quebec (Canada) facility that houses its Strong/MDI cinema screen manufacturing operations, as well as an adjacent parcel of land. Strong/MDI previously leased the facility.
The acquisition will enable Ballantyne to significantly expand its cinema screen production facility and related capacity to meet rapidly growing global demand for conventional, large-format, “gain,” silver and other specialized screens. Ballantyne estimates the capital investment in the building, land and facility expansion will approximate $6 million, with completion targeted for year-end 2010.
The expansion plan involves adding more than 26,000 square feet of production space and related state-of-the-art systems and equipment in Strong/MDI’s ISO 9001 screen operations. This expansion of approximately 35% over the existing structure will substantially increase key production areas including the painting towers, PVC welding, rolling and drying areas to support a growing base of global business domestically and internationally.
Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) Senior Vice President and Chief Purchasing Officer Rob Del Moro, stated, “Strong/MDI has been integral in providing Regal with state-of-the-art silver screens as we transform our circuit to support 3D digital cinema. This relationship builds on a decades-long partnership with Ballantyne Strong that now also encompasses their skilled team of technicians who are overseeing the turnkey installation and integration of thousands of digital projection systems at Regal theaters across the country.”
Chris Stark, Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer of Ballantyne, commented, “Strong/MDI’s screen backlog has been steadily growing as we have been operating at peak capacity in Joliette for several months now. With the global digital cinema transformation picking up momentum and straining our ability to meet demand, it became clear that we needed to invest in expanding Ballantyne’s production capabilities to better meet global sales opportunities. After much review, we determined that expanding our current plant was the best path forward, but that required us to purchase both our building and adjacent land to provide sufficient space for this expansion. When complete, our Joliette facility will have a total of approximately 75,000 square feet of production area, making it one of the largest such facilities in the world.”