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 Mamma.com 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 Mamma.com 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 Mamma.com 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 Mamma.com.
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 Broadcast.com, 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.