Two top German exhibs talk up a partnership

Cinemaxx, Ufa Teater could join, takeover a possibility

BERLIN — Germany’s two leading theater chains, Cinemaxx and Ufa Teater, are looking into the possibilities of forming a partnership.

Previous comments from Hans Joachim Flebbe, the owner of Cinemaxx parent company Flebbe, that a takeover was more likely than a partnership has lead to speculation that Ufa could be bought out by Cinemaxx.

The announcement Monday comes after a slow year for German exhibs, which, unlike their U.S. counterparts, have had to watch business fall off the past year, compared with 1998.

More consolidation in the exhibition business was in the cards after the building spree of the past several years which followed the advent of multiplexes in Germany.

Several German chains have already formed strategic partnerships to finance the boom.

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