Private equity firm Doughty Hanson has sold off Vue, the operator of multiplex cinemas, to OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) for a total of £935m.
Vue was acquired in December 2010 for £450m, since which it has more than doubled the number of cinemas under its ownership from 70 to 146 and screen numbers have jumped from 678 to 1,321.
Commenting on the transaction Julian Huxtable, a partner at Doughty Hanson said:
We have enjoyed working with Tim Richards and his excellent management team at Vue to deliver significant value for all our stakeholders, and we wish them well in the future. It has been a successful and exciting investment, helping the company to develop into one of the world’s largest cinema operators with the most advanced technology, and industry leading operating metrics. We said at the time of the acquisition that Vue offered a strong platform for growth and we are pleased to have been able to take advantage of this opportunity to return significant cash to our investors.
Tim Richards, founder and CEO of Vue, will stay with the business. He said today:
It has been a pleasure to work with Doughty Hanson during this stage of the company’s development. The team has made a major contribution to the ongoing growth and success of the business and I have been very grateful for their commitment and support. As the company moves forward I am confident that we do so from a position of real strength. We will continue to build on this success by innovating, enhancing and growing the Vue business through our continuing plan for organic growth supplemented by strategic acquisitions.