Billionaire Mark Cuban acquires stake in Carmike Cinemas

2008-12-30T00:00:00Z Billionaire Mark Cuban acquires stake in Carmike CinemasThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 30, 2008 12:00 am  • 

NEW YORK - Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and co-owner of the Landmark Theaters cinema chain, has acquired a 9.4 percent stake in Carmike Cinemas Inc., according to a regulatory filing on Monday.

In the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Cuban reported buying 1.2 million Carmike shares on the open market for roughly $2.8 million of his own funds. According to the filing, Cuban has been acquiring the shares through his personal investment account since mid-October.

Cuban, who has been controversial within the National Basketball Association - racking up more than $1 million in fines for his behavior on the court - has recently become the target of civil lawsuit alleging insider trading.

In November, federal regulators accused Cuban of using confidential information to bail out of an investment in search-engine company Inc. in 2004, avoiding about $750,000 in losses. Cuban has denied any wrongdoing.

Cuban is not facing jail time, but could be forced to pay a penalty of close to $3 million if he is found guilty.

According to the SEC's case, Cuban told his broker to sell his shares after the company's then-chief executive confidentially told him of a stock offering that would dilute the value of stock held by current investors.

Cuban owned a 6.3 percent stake in at that time and was the largest-known shareholder in the search-engine company. The Montreal-based company changed its name to Copernic Inc. in 2007 although the Web site remains known as

In Monday's SEC filing, Cuban said he acquired his stake in Columbus, Ga.-based Carmike for investment purposes. He reserved his right to discuss the company's performance and strategic direction with Carmike's stockholders, officers or directors.

Cuban co-owns movie theater chain Landmark Theatres with Todd Wagner, who was his co-founder of the pioneering online audio streamer Audionet. The service, later named, was sold by Cuban and Wagner to Yahoo! in 1999.

The Wagner/Cuban Cos. also include distribution company Magnolia Pictures, production company 2929 Productions, and high definition cable networks HDNet and HDNet Movies.

Carmike shares rose 29 cents to close at $2.32 Monday, after trading as low as $1.68 earlier in the session. The stock has traded between $1.37 and $11.37 during the past 52 weeks.

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