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DENVER-Regal Entertainment Group, the giant movie theater company controlled by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, declared an “extraordinary” cash dividend of $5.05 per share of class a and class b stock.

Regal is the country’s largest movie theater chain. It operates under the names Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theaters, Edwards Theatres and Hoyts Cinemas. It also owns the media company, Regal CineMedia, headquartered in Denver.

The unusual dividend payment is a windfall for Anschutz, who made his fortune in real estate, oil and entertainment investments, but lost billions in Denver-based telecommunications giant Qwest Communications. He owns 73 million shares of Regal and will get $372 million from the one-time dividend – just in time for President Bush’s more favorable taxation rates on dividends.

The dividend is payable on July 1 to stockholders of record on June 20.

Given the magnitude of the cash dividend, the NYSE has advised Regal that they will defer the ex-dividend date to one day following the payment date. Investors are encouraged to consult their financial advisors regarding the specific implications of the expected deferral of the ex-dividend date.

The extraordinary dividend will be subject to tax as determined under the United States federal income tax principles, which is dependent on the amount of the company’s current and accumulated earnings and profits at the end of fiscal 2003.

Regal currently projects that such accumulated earnings and profits will be in the range of $200 million to $275 million, before the consideration of the extraordinary dividend or the company’s regular quarterly dividends paid in 2003. Shareholders are encouraged to consult with their tax advisor regarding the appropriate tax treatment of the dividend.

“Regal is pleased to announce an extraordinary dividend of $5.05 per share of class a and class b common stock,” says Mike Campbell, CEO of Regal Entertainment Group’s theatre operations and Co-CEO of Regal Entertainment Group with Kurt Hall of Denver.

“Assuming that Regal will have approximately 141.5 million shares of class a and class a common stock outstanding on the dividend record date, which reflects, among other things, the recent exercise of all of our outstanding warrants, the total payout to stockholders will be approximately $715 million,” Campbell says. “Management is particularly proud of the fact that we can provide healthy returns to our stockholders while maintaining a prudent balance sheet supported by industry-leading operations producing significant levels of free cash flow.”

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