Art-house Cinema Group City Screen Acquired by Cineworld Cinemas

Livingstone advises City Screen on sale to Cineworld

City Screen, the UK’s leading art-house cinema operator with 20 sites in its group (58 screens), has been acquired by Cineworld in a deal valuing the company at £47.3m. Livingstone’s Consumer sector team advised the City Screen management team and private equity investors Arts Alliance and Albion Ventures on the sale.

Through the acquisition, Cineworld is enhancing its position in the high value, high growth segment of the UK cinema market, while adding a complementary portfolio of sites to its existing footprint, from both a geographic and strategic perspective. City Screen’s respected management will also add art-house expertise to Cineworld’s senior team.

Commenting on the acquisition, Stephen Wiener, CEO of Cineworld, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming City Screen to the Cineworld group. City Screen operates in an attractive segment of the UK market and has a distinctive offering centred on individuality of cinemas, art-house and foreign-language programming, and a cafe-bar retail offering. We look forward to supporting City Screen through the next phase of its development.”

City Screen is led by CEO Lyn Goleby and her highly experienced team, who will continue to lead the development of the City Screen business under Cineworld’s stewardship.

Lyn Goleby added: “The opportunity to be part of the Cineworld stable of cinema formats is great news for City Screen and our customers. We look forward to working with Cineworld to develop further into new sites and jointly improve our respective offerings. We share with Cineworld a love of film and a commitment to the customer experience.”

The deal will unlock more than 10 new growth opportunities for London and regional art-house cinemas under the City Screen brand and is forecast by Cineworld to be earnings enhancing in 2013.

Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner at Livingstone London concluded: “This is a fantastic result for Lyn, her team and investors Arts Alliance and Albion. Cineworld is the natural home for City Screen and being part of the larger group will enable it to capitalise on its exciting growth opportunities. We are delighted to have worked with Lyn and her team over the last four years preparing for this next stage in City Screen’s development. This is Livingstone’s second deal in this sector following our involvement in the sale of Screen Cinemas to Everyman Media Group.”

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