Aeon Buys Out WB Stake In Japan Cinemas
Japanese retail giant Aeon Group will acquire Warner Bros Entertainment’s 50% stake in the Japanese theater circuit Warner Mycal, Film Business Asia reports. A major exhibitor in Japan with 60 theaters and 496 screens, Warner Mycal was launched in 1993 as a partnership of Warner and Aeon, which was known at the time as Mycal. Aeon’s purchase is expected to close in February or March. Aeon separately owns some 70 complexes with 600 screens. Bringing the Warner Mycal theaters under its wholly owned umbrella is expected to make Aeon the largest movie theatre operator in Japan. Current market leader is Toho Cinemas. Aeon did not disclose the value of Warner Mycal. Warner Bros International Cinemas has been a multiplex cinema pioneer, opening more than 170 theatres with almost 1,600 screens in 11 countries including Portugal, Japan, Holland, Italy, China, and Taiwan. Most have been sold to local companies.