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Singapore’s MM2 to Buy Cathay Cineplexes for $170 Million

Fast-moving Singaporean mini-conglomerate MM2 has agreed on terms of purchase for the Cathay Cineplexes cinema chain. The move comes only months after MM2’s failed bid to buy rival Singaporean circuit Golden Village.

Cathay currently operates eight multiplexes in Singapore, including one that was opened in September at Parkway Parade. The price reflects a multiple of 13.8 times Cathay’s earnings. Cathay is 51% owned by Meileen Choo, and 49% held by Equus Holdings.

The acquisition will mean that MM2 stretches from film and TV production through to cinema exhibition in Singapore. It previously bought Cathay’s cinemas in Malaysia.

MM2 previously agreed to a deal with Australia’s Village Roadshow to buy its 50% stake in Golden Village, Singapore’s leading cinema chain. But the deal was blocked by Orange Sky Golden Harvest, Golden Village’s joint owner. Orange Sky and Village Roadshow recently settled on terms for Orange Sky to buy the stake instead.

The two sales, Golden Village and Cathay Cineplexes, mean that most of Singapore’s cinemas will have changed hands this year. The cinema scene in Singapore has been characterized by a cinema building pace that has outstripped ticket sales growth. The country has high ticket sales per head of population and an audience taste that skews strongly to Hollywood content.

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