Multiplex chain Cineworld is to acquire one of Europe’s largest cinema operators in a deal that will boost its estate to nearly 2,000 screens.
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, which is due to complete in March, values Cinema City at around £500m.
Cineworld Group currently operates 102 sites under the Cineworld and Picturehouse brands, including five out of the 10 highest-grossing cinemas in the UK and Ireland last year. Its North East sites include cinemas at Boildon Leisure Park and Middlesbrough Leisure Park.
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.
The new company will be run by current Cinema City chief executive Mooky Greidinger,