Cineworld to Merge with Cinema City, Creating Europe’s 2nd Largest Exhib Chain

Cinema City owns movie theaters across Central and Eastern Europe, Israel

LONDON — The U.K.’s largest exhibition chain Cineworld Group is to merge with Cinema City Intl., a leading loop in seven countries across Central and Eastern Europe and Israel, in a deal worth around £503 million ($825 million).

The deal will create the second largest movie theater business in Europe with the number one or two market share — by number of screens — in every region of operation. The enlarged group will have 201 sites and 1,852 fully digital screens.

Cinema City brings attractive growth opportunities in developing economies and markets in which multiplex screen penetration is relatively low, with low admissions per capita, high population per screen and low average ticket prices. The business has experienced strong growth with 2009-2012 revenue of 14.2%, and has a strong pipeline of screen openings in place to capitalize on further growth.

The new management team will combine representatives from both Cineworld and CCI: Anthony Bloom will continue as chairman of the group; Mooky Greidinger, the chief executive officer of CCI, will be appointed as CEO; Philip Bowcock will remain as chief financial officer; and Israel Greidinger, the chief financial officer of CCI, will be appointed as chief operating officer.

The new board will comprise of 10 directors, of which six from the existing Cineworld board together with Mooky Greidinger and Israel Greidinger, and two new non-executive directors: Scott Rosenblum (CCI’s chairman) and Arni Samuelsson (a new independent director).

Bloom said: “This is an exciting and unique opportunity for Cineworld to offer shareholders enhanced growth prospects and attractive returns via exposure to some of the most promising cinema markets in Europe.

“Cinema City is an extremely well-run and dynamic business, which creates a platform for further growth in future. Mooky Greidinger will be joining us as CEO — he is a highly respected and very experienced cinema executive who enjoys international recognition.”

Mooky Greidinger said: “After nearly four decades in the cinema industry building a business from one country to seven, I see an impressive company in Cineworld and a good fit with Cinema City.

“Together with the rest of the proposed management team I intend to seize this opportunity to bring together two equals in size, both leading players in their respective countries, and lead the resulting business to continuing growth, innovation and dedication to the best possible customer experience.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

  • BETWEEN TWO FERNS, 2019, PH_0027.RAF

    Film Review: 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie'

    If you’re a fan of “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” the fake public-access talk show that Zach Galifianakis has been hosting online, for three to six minutes a pop, over the last 10 years, then you’ll probably like “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” the snark-lite 82-minute road movie that Galifianakis and his director and [...]

  • The Irishman

    Martin Scorsese, Frances McDormand, Donald Sutherland Join Lineup of France's Lumiere Festival

    Martin Scorsese’s eagerly awaited Netflix movie “The Irishman” wasn’t completed on time to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, but Thierry Fremaux, Cannes’s topper, managed to pin down the high-profile movie and Scorsese himself for the upcoming Lumiere festival in Lyon next month. Dedicated to heritage movies, the Lumiere festival was created 10 years [...]

  • 'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for

    'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for a Broader Diversity of Storytelling in Movies and TV

    The star of “Aladdin,” Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud, called for a greater diversity of storytelling in movies and television when he spoke at the glamorous opening ceremony Thursday of the 3rd edition of Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival. Massoud, whose credits include Amazon’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and Hulu’s “Reprisal,” lauded “the power of art” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content