Chain acquires nine multiplexes in Spain, Italy
Odeon and UCI Cinemas, Europe’s largest exhibition chain, is further expanding its European footprint by upping its presence in Spain and Italy.The group, owned by U.K. private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, has closed a deal with Gallic loop UGC Cine Cite to acquire five multiplexes in Spain, including three in Madrid, and four in Italy, including two in Rome, UCI now has 494 screens in Spain and 369 in Italy, and is the market leader in Rome and Madrid. Rome alone accounts for 10% of the Italian exhibition market. “We look forward to increasing admissions across the Spanish and Italian markets — as well as further afield — in the near future,” said Odeon and UCI Cinemas CEO Rupert Gavin in a statement. The moves clearly reflect plans for growth, with additional sites in Austria, Ireland and Portugal under consideration, the group said. The exhib operates 215 cinemas and 2,039 screens across Europe and is the biggest exhib in the U.K., Spain and Italy, with robust chains in Ireland, Germany, Austria and Portugal.