Oz exhib in Poland pact

Partnership will buy 75% of Femina cinema shares

SYDNEY — Australia’s largest cinema chain, the Greater Union Organization, is entering its fourth offshore market via a new joint venture with Polish exhibitor Echo Cinema.

Announcing the pact Thursday, Greater Union said the partnership initially will buy 75% of the shares in the Femina cinema in Warsaw, which it described as the only quality multiplex in Poland.

Beyond that, the co-venture intends to secure an unspecified number of multiplex sites, including a 10-screener in Katowice and an eightplex in Warsaw.

GU managing director Robert Manson said Poland is severely under-screened and is characterized by single-screen cinemas.

Currently operating 322 screens in Australia, GU has formed partnerships in Germany, the Netherlands and Dubai. Its target is to expand to more than 850 screens worldwide in the next three years.