European Cinema Chain Odeon & UCI to Be Put Up for Sale for $1.55 Billion (Report)

Guy Hands, the founder of private equity group Terra Firma

Private equity group Terra Firma is renewing the sales attempt of its 237-theater chain, the largest in the U.K.

European cinema chain Odeon, the U.K.’s biggest theater-operator and the operator of London’s iconic premiere-hosting Leicester Square venue, is up for sale.

According to Reuters, private equity group Terra Firma is planning to launch the sale of the merged Odeon & UCI Group towards the end of 2015 in a deal worth $1.55 billion.

"We will look to begin the process to sell Odeon towards the end of the year," Terra Firma’s founder Guy Hands told Reuters, adding that buyers could include "U.S. cinema groups or South American cinema firms, and private equity groups from Europe, the U.S. and China."

It’s not the first time Hands has eyed a sale for his cinema assets, which he acquired for €650M in 2004 and merged with UCI, bought for €350M in the same year.

In 2003, he hired JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to explore options, although a sale never materialized.

Odeon and UCI operate in 237 locations across the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Spain, where it uses the Cinesa brand.

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