UK Cinema Chain Vue Sold For $726 Million

Doughty Hanson, the private equity firm, has bought Vue Entertainment from investor Cavendish Square Partners and the existing management team. Now the UK’s 3rd-largest cinema chain wants to take over rival Cineworld or even market leader Odeon/UCI. Such a takeover would be referred to the Competition Commission though, which expects to investigate whenever a single company controls more than 25% of the market. Vue commands 23% of the market, while Cineworld has a 24% market share. The new owner outbid Canadian pension fund OMERS and rival equity investor BC Partners. Tim Richards, CEO of Vue, will make just under £25 million from the transaction – although he and his management team will be reinvesting 50% of their windfall back into the company. That still leaves Richards with £10 million. Not bad when you consider he founded Vue in the loft of a Greek restaurant in Chiswick only 13 years ago.

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