U.K. exhib acquires Cinesur Circuito Sanchez-Ramade

LONDON — Cineworld Group, the second-largest exhib in Europe, has acquired Spain’s fifth-largest cinema chain, Cinesur Circuito Sanchez-Ramade.

It’s the first continental buy for the U.K.- and Ireland-based exhib and will see it takeover Cinesur’s 11 multiplexes for a total of 136 screens.

Cineworld has bought the entire share capital of Cinesur for an undisclosed sum. Cinesur has gross assets of €18.9 million ($27 million). The purchase is funded through Cineworld’s new loan facility, which was put in place on March 21.

Stephen Wiener, CEO of Cineworld, said the company was looking forward to moving into a market which “has good growth prospects.”

In 2009, Spain’s exhibition market reported annual revenue of $1.14 billion. Cineworld operates 78 sites in Blighty. “Cinesur is an attractive platform for growing market share in a country that is serviced by many smaller cinema operators,” said Wiener. “We look forward to developing Cinesur to bring it in line with our market-leading U.K. operations.”

Last year, the exhib sold more tickets than any other exhibs in the U.K. and also purchased the 11-screen cinema in London’s 02 arena.

In 2007, Cineworld floated publicly on the London Stock Exchange, making it the only publicly listed exhib in Blighty.

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