Screenvision Media, the No. 2 player in cinema advertising, is likely to be sold as soon as this summer.
According to a report in the New York Post, the company’s current owner, private equity firm Shamrock Capital, has brought in investment bank Moelis & Co. to explore a possible sale. The paper’s sources said a deal would likely be valued significantly higher than the $375 million that rival National CineMedia offered for the company in 2014. That bid was squashed by federal regulators, who considered it anti-competitive.
Shamrock acquired a 50% stake in Screenvision for $80 million in 2010, later increasing its controlling interest as others cashed out. It is privately traded, while National CineMedia is a public company.
At a time when TV networks and digital players alike have experienced frustration over measurement, ratings erosion and brand safety, movie theatres have posted gains as a venue for ads. Healthy box office of late, and theatres’ reach with millennial moviegoers, also has bolstered ad rates. Earlier this month, the company offered media buyers a way to target the biggest blockbusters heading to theatres.
According to the Cinema Advertising Council, total industry revenue hit $758.3 million in 2016, up almost 6% from 2015 levels. While that is a fraction of the $70 billion brought in annually by TV networks, the distraction-free nature of movie theatres continues to elicit interest from many brands battling for consumers’ attention.