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A group of investors led by Canadian conglomerate Onex Corp. announced plans Thursday to buy Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp. as the financially troubled movie theater chain filed for bankruptcy protection.

The acquisition of Loews, the No. 2 movie theater operator in the world, will be financed by converting about $250 million of Loews debt owned by the investors into an 88 percent stake in the newly reorganized company, said Onex spokesman Eric Rosen.

Unsecured creditors will hold the remaining 12 percent, while existing Loews shareholders will get nothing, Loews said.

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