NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Imax (IMAX) - Get Report shares were in the spotlight on New Year's Eve after London newspaper reported that the company might be a buyout target.

A column published late Thursday in London's

Daily Mail

said "whispers" indicated that

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

might be

preparing to offer more $40 a share

for the chain of giant movie theaters.

Without citing sources, the paper also said that

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

might be interested in buying Imax.

In afternoon trading, Imax shares were up 5% to $28.25, having cooled off since the early going, when the stock went as high as $32.30, a new 52-week high.

The same

Daily Mail

column also

sparked takeover rumors

this week when it reported that

BHP Billiton

(BHP) - Get Report

might be looking to buy oil-and-gas explorer

Anadarko

(APC) - Get Report

.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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