Village exits 3 exhib co-ventures in Asia

Move concludes restructuring

SYDNEY — One day after reaffirming its pledge to shrink its exhibition empire, Village Roadshow revealed it is exiting its joint ventures in Thailand, Malaysia and India.

On Tuesday VRL chairman John Kirby said the company aimed to cut its 15 territories to between eight and 10 (Daily Variety, March 13).

The following day VRL announced it had agreed to sell its stakes in the three Asian markets and said the Thailand deal would result in a small loss against book value, while the proceeds from the Malaysia and India disposals are in line with book value.

Partners buying interest

Its partner in Thailand, Entertain, is buying VRL’s 50% interest in the Thai circuit comprising 79 screens. Village is selling its 25% interest in the 44-screen Malaysian loop to its partners Tanjong Entertainment and Golden Harvest and a third party, businessman Robert Kwok.

The company has agreed to sell its 40% stake in four cinemas, totaling 12 screens, in India to its local partner, Priya.

Announcing the deals, VRL managing director Graham Burke said, “We are now completing the restructure of our exhibition division, which will see us operating a more efficient and lean business.” The sales will be completed before the June 30 end of this financial year.

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