Hoyts takes on partner for Germany

Theile/Kinopolis Group to join, co-develop 250 screens with exhib

SYDNEY — Hoyts Cinemas Wednesday unveiled a joint venture in Germany with local exhib, the Theile/Kinopolis Group, with plans to develop 30 multiplexes, totaling more than 250 screens, in the next five years.

Initially the partnership will own five multiplexes with 42 screens, with an option on a further 12 screens.

Hoyts valued its total investment in the co-venture at A$41 million ($27.8 million), which it would fund from the proceeds of selling the Hoyts Entertainment Center in Sydney to a property trust.

Established in 1905, the Theile/Kinopolis Group currently operates 144 screens, mostly centered around Frankfurt in the western region.

“Our expansion into Germany conforms with our objectives to expand our operations in the top-10 cinema exhibition markets which are currently underscreened and provides a platform for the group’s further pan-European expansion,” Hoyts CEO Peter Ivany said.

Ivany noted Germany has a low cinema-going attendance rate, averaging 1.7 times per person per year, and it has one screen per about 20,000 people, versus one per 9,000 in the U.S. and one per 12,000 in Australia.

Hoyts operates more than 1,400 screens in Australia, the U.S., New Zealand, Mexico, Chile and Austria, and is building cinemas in Argentina, London and northwest Germany.