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Sony and IMAX in talks: BNN source

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The mergers and acquisition spree of 2010 is going out on a high note, with one source telling BNN that Sony Corp. (SNE-N) is preparing a bid for big-screen movie company IMAX Corp. (IMAX-Q) at more than $40 US a share.  

The UK’s Daily Mail was first to report on the possible acquisition. But Porter Bibb, Managing Partner at MediaTech Capital Partners LLC, tells BNN Sony and IMAX are in talks.  

“I can confirm that both Sony and Disney are in serious talks with IMAX about a takeover, probably at $40 per share or more,” Bibb told BNN in an email.

IMAX has responded to the reports and said it is not aware of any corporate developments to account for the surge in market activity around its stock.

“The Company's policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly does not intend to comment further,” it added. 

IMAX, which put itself up for sale in the past, posted a third-quarter profit that blew past analyst expectations and forecast rapid expansion of its theatre network, especially in emerging markets such as China.   

IMAX has about 400 commercial movie screens and is eyeing 1,200 other potential locations, said Brett Harriss, an analyst with Gabelli & Co. 

"IMAX has done a fantastic job over the last five years becoming a powerhouse," he said. "IMAX has an advantage over others. It's a premium product. If you are going to get out the house you may as well spend an extra 5 bucks to see an IMAX (movie)." 

Toronto-based IMAX has capitalized on the latest craze for 3D movies like News Corp's Avatar and Disney's Toy Story 3, helping it weather the downturn of other theatre chains.

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