The competition watchdog’s greenlight means Vue can now complete that deal and push ahead with its offer to buy the remaining public shares at the same price of $7.99. Vue expects to wrap up the takeover by the end of the year.
Vue is one of the U.K.’s big three chains, with 80 sites following its recent $32 million purchase of the smaller Apollo loop. Cinemaxx is German’s third-placed exhib, with 266 screens in 31 sites. Both companies use Sony 4K digital projection.
Vue chief exec Tim Richards, part of the senior management team that owns around 30% of the company, says the European exhibition sector is ripe for a wave of mergers and acquisitions over the next two years, similar to the consolidation that took place in the U.S. a decade ago.
Vue’s deal with Cinemaxx positions the group alongside its main pan-European rival Odeon/UCI as the two companies best placed to lead this consolidation.