U.K. Exhibitor Vue to Acquire Remaining Stock of Germany's CinemaxX

vue cinemas - H 2012

With a "squeeze-out" of small shareholders, the British group will take full control and become a pan-European giant with 119 theaters.

BERLIN – Shareholders of German multiplex group CinemaxX AG have approved a so-called "squeeze-out," which will allow British exhibitor Vue to buy up the remaining CinemaxX stock it does not already own and take 100 percent control of the company.

Vue last year paid close to $200 million (€147 million) to acquire the 84.6 percent stake in CinemaxX held by Herbert Kloiber’s Tele Munchen Group. Since then, the British group has been buying up minority stakes and currently holds just under 97.5 percent of Cinemaxx.

Shortly after the Kloiber deal, Vue applied to a German court to request a squeeze-out of minority shareholders without a separate approval by the CinemaxX board of directors. The court rejected that, so Vue had to get board approval, which it has now done.

Vue can now pay off the remaining minority shareholders without fear of future lawsuits. Cinemaxx minority shareholders still have a month to challenge the move before it becomes binding.

Vue’s deal for the group turns the British exhibitor into a pan-European giant, with 119 theaters operating across the U.K., Ireland, Germany and Denmark.

In June, Canadian investment groups OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management Corp. signed a deal with private equity firm Doughty Hansonwill to buy Vue for $1.45 billion (£935 million).