Cinesa to Buy France's UGC Cinemas in Spain, Italy

The move gives Cinesa 20% of the Spanish exhibition market.


MADRID -- Spanish exhibition chain Cinesa has agreed to buy all the movie theaters owned by France's UGC in Spain and Italy, Spanish business daily Cinco Dias reported Thursday.

The move, which would give Cinesa 20 percent of the Spanish market, includes three multiplexes in Italy and five in Spain -- to bring Cinesa's chain to 400 screens in 35 locations throughout Spain.

Cinesa is owned by British investment group Terra Firma, which also owns the Odeon and UCI circuits. The group bought AMC's Spanish chain in 2006 and Warner's Spanish circuit in 2005.

"Our idea is to grow throughout Europe and continue forming synergies," Cinesa general manager Javier Fernandez told Cinco Dias, adding the group posted €150 million ($218 million) in revenue for 2010 and had reached break even.

According to Fernandez, who declined to tell Cinco Dias the cost of the operation, Cinesa would maintain the 300 employees at the Spanish theaters. The report did not mention the Italian staff.

Yelmo owns 10 percent of the Spanish exhibition market, followed by Cinebox and ACEC's 6 percent.