Movies

Cineworld to buy European cinema chain

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MUMBAI: England’s largest movie theater operator, Cineworld, has announced that it will be buying over 100 multiplexes across Eastern Europe and Israel for $828 million (?503 million).

The purchase will be done in a mix of cash and shares, from Cinema City International (CCI), listed on the Warsaw stock market in Poland.

The company will pay CCI $448 million (?272 million) in cash, and has launched a $181 million (?110 million) share rights issue to help fund the purchase. The proposed tie-up with Cinema City will give it leading positions in Poland, Israel, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The cash and shares deal is due to complete in March.

The merged group will have 201 outlets and 1,852 screens across Europe, with the addition of 966 from Cinema City making it the second largest operator in Europe behind Odeon UCI, which has more than 2,100 screens.

According to The Financial Times, Cineworld, which snapped up 21 Picturehouse sites last year, shares rose 5.87 per cent at 415p, continues a run that has pushed up the price almost 50 per cent in a year. CCI shares rose 7 per cent to 32.30 zlotys in Warsaw.

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