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Cineworld acquires Picturehouse Cinemas in UK

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MUMBAI: The second-largest British exhibitor Cineworld has taken over art house cinema chain Picturhouse Cinemas by buying out its parent company the City Screen Group for $76 million (?47.3 million) in cash.

The deal was finalised between Cineworld and City Screen majority owner Arts Alliance and will add 21 sites and 60 screens to its real estate along with Picturehouse Entertainment, the distribution arm operated by the group. Cineworld also made public the fact that it plans to open 10 new locations across UK in the near future. Arts Alliance has been the majority shareholder of Picturehouse since 2002.

Post the buyout, Picturehouse will operate as a separate business entity within the Cineworld Group and there will be no change in the existing Picturehouse management team that runs the outfit.

For FY12 Picturehouse reported audited sales of $48.8 million (?30.3 million), profit before tax of $4 million (?2.5 million) and gross assets of $56 million (?35 million).

Cineworld CEO Stephen Wiener said, "This acquisition gives us an opportunity to accelerate our growth by reaching new audiences in a high value and growing part of the market. We recognize that Picturehouse is valued by its customers and we look forward to supporting the business through the next phase of its development."

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