Powerscourt Group is backing UK-based Cineworld Group’s bid for Regal Entertainment, a potential deal worth $3.6B.

Noting speculation in the press about a proposed takeover, Cineworld said today that it is “advanced discussions” with Regal concerning a $23 per-share cash offer.

Cineworld, which operates 230 theaters and 2,200 screens in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Israel, said the Regal acquisition would provide a “highly attractive platform in the world’s largest cinema market.”

Knoxville-based Regal has more than 7,300 screens at 560 sites located in 48 of the top 50 US markets. A Cineworld/Regal hook-up would be in a better position to compete with industry leader AMC Entertainment.

Cineworld stresses there is no certainty that a takeover of Regal, which is 10 percent owned by billionaire wheeler-dealer Philip Anschultz, will take place.

Powerscourt’s Nick Dibden, Rob Greening and Lisa Kavanagh represent Cineworld.