LONDON — Private equity firm Terra Firma is to sell its pan-European movie exhibition chain Odeon & UCI Group later this year in a deal estimated to be worth 1 billion pounds ($1.55 billion).
Odeon & UCI runs 2,236 movie screens at 244 sites in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain, where it operates under the Cinesa brand. Its flagship site is Odeon Leicester Square in London, which hosts most major U.K. premieres, such as the launch of “Fifty Shades of Grey” this month.
“We will look to begin the process to sell Odeon towards the end of the year,” Terra Firma chairman Guy Hands told Reuters.
“We are likely to appoint banks by May. Possible buyers could include U.S. cinema groups or South American cinema firms, and private equity groups from Europe, the U.S. and China,” he said.
A stock market listing is also an option, Hands said.
Terra Firma put Odeon & UCI up for sale in 2013, but pulled out after it was advised to wait for business to improve.