Benetton, Mediaset launch new Italian circuit
Merging Warner Village Cinemas, Medusa locations
The blockbuster deal will create a new player in the market with 24 multiplexes and a total of 242 screens that sold a total of 16 million tickets last year. It will also see the exit of Warner Village from the market, where it had been a mainstay. It also marks an entry into the sector for Alessandro Benetton, the eldest son of Luciano Benetton, the founder of the Trevisio-based fashion-empire.
Giuseppe Corrado, a relative newcomer to the cinema sector who brings with him business experience from the pasta and advertising sectors, will head the new venture.
"This is more than a simple fusion of two companies and a rebranding," Corrado said at a briefing. "We want to change the traditional way that films are distributed."
Paolo Protti, the president of the cinema industry association Anec, applauded the move, calling it a vote of confidence for the sector.
"When to big companies like Mediaset and Benetton believe that owning a distribution chain is a good investment, it's a good sign," Protti said.
Financial terms of the deal were not released.