Warner Bros. Exits International Exhibition - Sells Stake in Japanese Theater Chain
TOKYO – Retail giant Aeon Co. will buy Warner Bros. Entertainment’s 50 percent stake in its Warner Mycal joint venture in February or March, the last interest it has in international exhibition.
Aeon has said it will fund the buyout with cash but the purchase price has not been announced.
Warner Mycal was established in 1991 and opened Japan’s first multiplex in 1993. The group has grown to around 500 screens, nearly all of them located in Aeon-owned shopping centers.
Combined with the Aeon Cinemas subsidiary, the new group will have 599 screens at 73 multiplexes, more than Toho Cinemas.
As of 2011, Japan had 3,339 screens, with 2,774 of those being at multiplexes.