×

Euro Exhib Chain Vue Sold for $1.45 Billion

OPE, AIMCo likely to expand Vue's network of theaters

LONDON — European exhib Vue Entertainment has been sold by private equity firm Doughty Hanson to two Canadian investors for £935 million ($1.45 billion).

OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management Corporation have snapped up the cinema chain, which has 146 multiplexes across Blighty and Europe, with a plan to expand the business further.

Deal is expected to close by late July and the Vue management team, including founder and CEO Tim Richards, will retain a substantial equity stake and continue to manage the business.

The sale is likely to make a hefty profit for Doughty Hanson, which acquired the exhib in 2010 for $699 million from U.S. private equity group Coller Capital and Och-Ziff.

Since Doughty Hanson has been at the reins, Vue has added three European chains to its business: Blighty’s Apollo Cinemas in May 2012, Germany’s second largest exhib CinemaxX in July 2012 and Poland’s second largest operator Multikino last May.

Over the last three years, it has doubled the number of cinemas under its ownership from 70 to 146 and nearly doubled its screens from 678 to 1,321.
The company has also rolled out state-of-the-art digital projection technology across its circuits and opened a raft of new cinemas, including two of the U.K.’s highest grossing cinemas in the territory at Vue Westfield London and Vue Westfield Stratford City.

Popular on Variety

“We are delighted to be embarking on the next phase of our journey with OPE and AIMCo, who share our vision of driving attractive growth and investment returns by consistently delivering excellent entertainment experience for our customers,” Richards said. “As the company moves forward, I am confident that we will do so from a position of real strength. We will continue to build on this success by innovating, enhancing and growing the business through our continuing plan for organic growth supplemented by strategic acquisitions.”

More Film

  • Trom

    REinvent Studios Enlists ZDF/Arte For Icelandic Drama 'Trom' (EXCLUSIVE)

    REinvent Studios, the Copenhagen-based company launched last year by former TrustNordisk CEO Rikke Ennis, has pre-sold the Icelandic crime drama “Trom” to ZDF/Arte for Germany and France. ZDF/Arte will be co-producing the anticipated series which was pitched last year during the Co-Pro Series at the Berlinale Series forum. “Trom,” based on Jagvan Isaksen’s crime novels [...]

  • Lauren Sivan Katherine Kendall Caitlin Dulany

    Five Harvey Weinstein Accusers Break Down the Historical Verdict (EXCLUSIVE)

    Before being found guilty by a jury and handcuffed on his way to jail, Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct, harassment, assault or rape by at least 100 women. On Monday morning, the possibility of Weinstein being imprisoned seemed impossible, to some. How could one of Hollywood’s most powerful men end up behind bars? [...]

  • Saudi Runaway

    National Geographic Films Buys Documentary 'Saudi Runaway'

    National Geographic Documentary Films has bought the documentary “Saudi Runaway,” which follows a young woman in Saudi Arabia attempting to flee the country before her arranged marriage. The deal was announced on Tuesday prior to “Saudi Runaway” screening at the Berlin Film Festival. Directed by Susanne Regina Meures, the movie had its premiere in the World [...]

  • BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R)

    Gerard Butler, Daniel Bruhl, Tom Wlaschiha Attend Babelsberg Night in Berlin

    Actors Gerard Butler (pictured above with Soho House’s Dominic Hofer and Studio Babelsberg’s Christoph Fisser), Daniel Brühl and Tom Wlaschiha, who played Jaqen H’ghar in “Game of Thrones,” were among the guests at the Studio Babelsberg Night Friday at Berlin’s Soho House. Other actors at the party included Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Schuele, Elyas M’Barek, Iris [...]

  • Breaking through the glass

    Breaking Through The Lens Unveils Shortlist for Pitching Platform at Cannes

    Breaking Through The Lens, an initiative launched three years ago to promote emerging female directors, has unveiled the shortlist of projects vying to participate in the 3rd edition of its pitching platform set to take place during the Cannes Film Festival. The selected projects, which will be pitched to over 100 financiers and key industry [...]

  • 'Blind,' Starring Demi Moore, Alec Baldwin,

    'Blind,' Starring Demi Moore, Alec Baldwin, Goes to Germany's Tiberius (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tiberius Film, headed by Oliver Fink, has acquired rights for Germany to drama “Blind,” starring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin, at Berlin’s European Film Market, as well as horror film “Death of Me” and action-horror movie “The Driver.” “Blind” tells the story of a writer who loses his wife and his eyesight in a car [...]

  • Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton on Harvey Weinstein: 'It Was Time for An Accounting'

    Hillary Clinton has said that the jury’s verdict in the trial of Harvey Weinstein, formerly one of her primary Hollywood donors, “really speaks for itself.” “It is obviously something that people have looked at and followed, because it was time for an accounting and the jury clearly found that,” said Clinton, who was speaking Tuesday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content