Odeon & UCI Cinema Group has been bought by the global cinema chain giant, AMC Entertainment, a US chain owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda. In an agreement worth £921m, the British firm will now operate as a subsidiary of the world’s largest movie operators. The companies move from its previous owners, the private equity firm Terra Firma, now means that AMC entertainment have over 7,500 screens in 8 countries. The sale looks to be cleared by the European Commission by December.
Triple Point partnered with Odeon in 2010, arranging over £80m of investment for companies leading the deployment, maintenance and operation of digital cinema systems. As such we take this opportunity to briefly update our investors on the impact of the recently announced sale, and the impact on the Digital Deployment Companies that operate assets in Odeon operated cinemas.
The announced sale is a very positive step for Odeon, one which we believe will strengthen them as an Operating Partner. The acquisition will mean that they are part of the largest cinema operator globally, and are likely to benefit from investment and an increase in buying power.
It has been anticipated that Terra Firma would look to dispose of Odeon cinemas at some point during the term of agreement the DDCs have with them. As such, the commercial contracts and structure governing the ownership and operation of the digital systems were originally set up in a way that anticipated a change in control of Odeon. The assets continue to be independently owned by the DDCs, and the master Digital Cinema Deployment Agreements that govern the payment of Virtual Print Fees sit between the Studios and Digital Deployment Associates Limited, an independent company, not related to Odeon.
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