Vue International, famous throughout the UK for its branch of cinema chains, has brought Adam Crozier on board as non-executive Chairman, in what some are using as further evidence suggesting the group is close to either a sale or a potential float.
According to the Financial Times, who reported the news, sources close to Vue have mentioned a valuation of £1.6bn. The group’s Founder, Tim Richards, said the company moved for Mr Crozier after deciding it was the 'right time to bring in a high-powered non-executive chair'.
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Currently owned by Canadian pension funds Omers and Aimco, a sale or listing would represent the third time the firm has received external finance. Omers and Aimco themselves acquired it from Doughty Hanson in a deal worth £935m in 2013.
We’ve done some great things with Omers and Aimco. We can do another round with private equity. But equally, if a listing looked more attractive, we could do that too. Adam is experienced with all of the above.
The Telegraph also recently reported that Rothschild and JP Morgan have been appointed by Vue to identify potential buyers, so new investment would appear to be on the cards in the coming months.
Any potential float would offer a huge windfall to the current management team, which still owns around 27% of the company.
Vue has built up an empire strikes back of over 200 cinemas internationally since it was founded by Richards in the year 1999. The company posted increased sales figures again in 2016 (£773m) and is now ranked as the sixth largest cinema chain in the world. A tale then of success and growth, which is only likely to have one outcome.
*Grabs popcorn* let's see where this one goes.