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Movie Theater Chain Vue Buys Dutch Exhibitor JT

London's Vue Westfield was named best U.K. movie theater at the RAAM Awards

LONDON — Vue Intl., one of the world’s top five movie-theater chains by box-office revenue, has bought JT Bioscopen, the second-largest film exhibitor in the Netherlands, for €85 million ($97.6 million). The deal brings Vue’s total number of sites to 209, with 1,859 screens, across 10 countries.

The acquisition, which is Vue’s fourth international transaction in three years, represents the company’s entry into the Dutch market. JT has 21 movie theaters and 111 screens across 20 towns and cities. The company has opened seven new sites in the past four years; these include the state-of-the-art multiplexes in Hilversum, Hoorn and Eindhoven, which features the first Dolby Cinema laser projection technology system in Europe.

Vue sees the Dutch market as one with a potential for growth. The number of admissions has risen by over a third in the past 10 years, driven by a combination of a rise in the number of screens and the increasing success of local film productions, which regularly account for more than 20% of box office.

“International expansion is an important element of our growth strategy, and we are delighted to have acquired JT, enabling us to enter the buoyant Netherlands cinema market,” Tim Richards, Vue’s founder and CEO, commented.

“This acquisition signals our commitment to owning, managing and developing the highest-quality cinema assets around the world. Our ambition is to be the best in big-screen entertainment and to be at the forefront of technological development. I am excited about the growth plans for JT.”

Ron Sterk, JT’s managing director, added: “For JT this is a very important step in its strategic development, and Vue is the best possible partner to help materialize our ambitions for growth, innovation and focus on the customer experience overall.”

Vue’s most recent acquisition prior to JT was of Italy’s largest movie chain, Space Entertainment, in November. In the two years before this, Vue acquired Apollo in the U.K. in May 2012, CinemaxX in Germany and Denmark in August 2012, and Multikino in Poland and the Baltics in September 2013.

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