Cinesa, Hernandez talk alliance

MADRID — Spanish cinema circuit Cinesa, owned by United Cinemas Intl. (UCI), is in talks with local hardtop chain Hermanos Hernandez to create the biggest exhibition alliance in the country. If it comes to fruition, the deal would see Cinesa and Hernandez jointly programming their cinemas.

Major exhibitors often program indie film theaters in Spain. What sets apart this joint venture is its scale.

Based out of Andalusia, Hermanos Hernandez is Spain’s biggest cinema circuit with 142 screens and 200 planned by the end of 1998. Taking around 10% of the total Spanish box office, UCI-Cinesa owns and operates 105 screens and plans 200 by late 1998. A partnership would create a 250-screen force which would dwarf competitors in a still highly fragmented market.

UCI-Cinesa CEO Jordi Batlle stressed that no deal has yet been finalized. “Hernandez and ourselves are talking to lots of companies,” he said.

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