European Exhibitor Vue to Acquire Italian Cinema Chain The Space Entertainment

The group runs 36 multiplex cinemas with 362 screens

European exhibitor Vue Entertainment International said Thursday it has agreed to acquire The Space Entertainment, a cinema chain in Italy with 36 multiplex theaters with 362 screens.

The deal is Vue's fourth acquisition in the past three years and is supported via a follow-on investment from the firm’s Canadian owners Omers Private Equity and AIMCo. Over the past three years, Vue has more than doubled the number of cinemas and screens under its ownership from 70 to 187 cinemas and from 678 to 1,727 screens.

Vue acquired Apollo in the U.K. in May 2012, CinemaxX in Germany in August 2012, Multikino in Poland in October 2013 and expects to complete the Space deal in November.

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Vue said it now has leading positions in three of the top four cinema markets in Europe: the U.K., Germany and Italy. It also has a strong presence in Poland, Denmark, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and Taiwan.

Space, formed by the merger of the Medusa Multicinema and Warner Village Cinema chains in 2009, is the top cinema chain in Italy by market share, the firms said.

"The acquisition of Space is another very exciting addition to the Vue group and continues our strategic plan of supplementing our organic growth through opening new cinemas with strategic acquisitions of the highest quality assets in the U.K. and continental Europe," said Vue founder and CEO Tim Richards. "Italy is the fourth-largest cinema market in Europe, and has a long tradition of high-quality Italian film production.”

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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