OMERS Private Equity, in equal partnership with the Alberta Investment Management Corp., is buying multiplex theater operator Vue Entertainment from private equity firm Doughty Hanson for £935 million ($1.46 billion), confirmed Lori McLeod, OMERS spokeswoman.
This is the first investment in a cinema company by the private equity investment arm of the C$60.8 billion (US$59.1 billion) Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Toronto, she said.
Alberta Investment Management, with C$70 billion in assets under management, invests for 28 pension, endowment and government funds in the province of Alberta, including the C$16.4 billion Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund.
“OMERS and AIMCo are equal partners, and management will also maintain a substantial equity stake in Vue and continue to manage the business. Our combined ownership gives Vue the distinct advantage of patient capital and deep pockets for organic and acquisitive growth,” said Mark Redman, senior managing director and country head – Europe at OMERS Private Equity in an e-mail.
Formed in 2003, Vue is now operating 1,300 screens in 146 multiplex theaters in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Taiwan.
The transaction is expected to close at the end of July.