National CineMedia Inc. hopes to raise $700 million through an initial public offering.
The Centennial company announced its IPO Thursday night but didn't file a registration statement with the SEC until Friday.
The preliminary prospectus does not include information on the number of shares to be offered or the price per share.
Launched in 2005, National CineMedia is the sales and marketing arm of the United States' three largest movie-theater chains -- Regal Entertainment Group Inc. (NYSE: RCG), AMC Entertainment Inc. and Cinemark USA Inc.
The company said it will apply for a listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market as "NCMI."
National CineMedia said it will use the proceeds to buy an equity interest in and become the sole manager of National CineMedia LLC, which provides on-screen advertisements before the start of movies and which is currently the operating company for the business.
The limited liability company was formed in March 2005 by AMC Entertainment and Regal, with Cinemark joining a few months later.
The LLC is 41.2 percent owned by Regal, with AMC Entertainment owning 33.2 percent and Cinemark owning 25.6 percent.
The company serves 1,046 theaters with a combined 13,095 screens. That number will grow after AMC adds the Loews theater circuit. AMC bought Loews in January, but Loews has an existing contract with a rival company for on-screen advertising that runs into 2008.
National CineMedia Inc. said it will distribute the proceeds from the offering to Regal, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark. The company said it would change the way the theater companies are paid. Instead of quarterly payments now made based on a percentage of advertising revenue, the theater companies will get monthly payments based on how many people are in the audience.
Revenue for National CineMedia LLC for the six months ended June 30 rose 95.2 percent from a year earlier, to $84.5 million, and the value of advertising contracts increased 37.6 percent, to $84.2 million, during the same period.
The joint book-running managers for the offering will be Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Securities Inc., Lehman Brothers Inc. and Morgan Stanley.