Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma is mulling the sale of its Odeon and UCI cinema business.
Speculation over a possible sale has surrounded the cinema brands for months, with rival private equity player BC Partners thought to be interested.
City A.M. understands a sale is one of several options for the firm, with a refinancing also an option. The firm could also choose to hold its ground. Sources close to the firm say it is unlikely Terra Firma would accept less than £1bn for the business.
Hands is expected to ask Bank of America Merrill Lynch to host an auction should he decide on a sale.
UCI and Odeon have a similar UK market share of around one quarter each, with Odeon valued at roughly £800m and UCI at £300m.
Hands took a £12m dividend from Terra Firma earlier this year despite a fall in operating profits.
The payment is the first significant dividend payment by the company since its inception nine years ago, with all previous payouts under £25,000 a year.