WB, Roadshow selling cinema interests

Movie World joint venture over in Oz

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow have dissolved their Oz theme park joint venture almost 15 years to the day after the opening of Warner Bros. Movie World on June 3, 1991.

Village Roadshow also said it is negotiating to exit cinema exhibition operations in New Zealand, Fiji the UK and Austria.

New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment Group will buy Village’s interests in the pair’s New Zealand and Fijian cinema joint venture.

As for the theme park, Village Roadshow will pay A$254 million ($193 million) for the portfolio of Gold Coast properties, which includes Sea World, Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World, Australian Outback Spectacular, Paradise Country, Sea World Aviation and the Warner Roadshow Studios.

Village Roadshow will take on WB’s share of associated bank debt of $49 million and operate the parks via a long-term licensing agreement with Warner Bros.

In February, Village Roadshow announced a first-half net loss of $1.7 million for the six months to Dec. 31, compared with a net profit of $22.75 million in the year-before half.

The theme park division recorded a $6 million operating profit before tax for the half, down $1.1 million from the previous corresponding period.

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