South Korean Theater Chain CJ CGV Acquires Turkey's Mars Entertainment


The biggest Korean cinema chain paid $687 million for Mars and is now the fifth-largest exhibitor in the world.

CJ CGV has acquired Turkey's Mars Entertainment Group, the South Korean giant announced on Tuesday, a deal that pushes it up to number five in the list of the world's largest exhibitors.

CGV is paying $687 million (605 million Euros) for a 100 percent stake in the Turkish film company. Local firm IMM Private Equity and other investors will take part in the deal, according to a statement released by CGV.

Mars operates Turkey's largest chain of movie theaters under the brand Cinemaximum, which has 736 screens in 83 cinemas across 28 cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Last year, Cinemaximum drew more than 2,400 moviegoers to earn a cumulative revenue of about $200 million, or about 42 percent of the Turkish annual box-office sales. Mars also operates a film business division that is reputed to be Turkey's largest investor-distributor.

"We have high expectations, particularly since local films make up about 60 percent of the Turkish film market, which is expected to grow more at a rapid rate," said a spokesperson for CGV. The company plans to install its immersive theater technologies, including the multi-sensory 4DX and multi-screen ScreenX features. Mars got its first 4DX theater in June 2015.

The Korean brand now owns 2,589 screens in 332 theaters across six countries, including China, the U.S., Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar.

"We have taken a step closer to realizing our goal of securing 10,000 screens around the world by the year 2020," said Seo Jung, CEO of CGV.