With $75 billion of assets under management, AIMCo’s scale is a critical advantage. Scale allows us to consider larger and more diverse investments.
In 2013, AIMCo invested in London-based Vue Entertainment, a world class operator and developer of state-of-the-art multiplex cinemas to support their ambitious growth plans in central Europe.
Vue is the third largest cinema operator in Europe. Over the last three years it has more than doubled its cinemas from 70 to 157, and screens from 679 to 1,368. Vue has grown both organically and through acquisitions, and now operates across the UK, Europe and Asia.
Effectively leveraging our scale allows AIMCo to make high-conviction investments in assets that will provide our clients with stable long-term returns.
Vue has over 1,368 screens and over 250,000 standard and luxury VIP seats.
Strategically located venues throughout its markets, and modern, state-of-the-art cinema facilities featuring Sony 4K Technology.
Senior Vice President,
Head of Private Equity & Relationship Investing
Director, Private Equity
Portfolio Manager, Private Equity
Portfolio Manager, Private Equity
Senior Analyst, Private Equity
Cinemas are an attractive industry for AIMCo’s stakeholders to be exposed to
How did the Vue Entertainment transaction come about?
AIMCo Private Equity and OMERS Private Equity acquired Vue on a 50/50 basis in August 2013 from UK-based private equity firm Doughty Hanson. The opportunity arose within a small window, and our team worked extremely hard to conduct diligence and complete the transaction in an expedited time frame of only four months. Once our positive views on the business were confirmed, both AIMCo and OMERS utilized an innovative offer structure to provide certainty to the sellers that we would complete the transaction at our agreed price, and to ensure that transaction-related costs would be minimized.
Why the cinema industry?
We believe cinemas are an attractive industry for AIMCo’s stakeholders to be exposed to. During our diligence we discovered that the cinema industry exhibits low volatility in Europe, particularly in the UK where market admissions have been very stable over the long term. We also found cinemas to be anti-recessionary in certain markets, as consumers will continue to attend cinemas regardless of the economic cycle. Finally, in Europe especially, we found that attending cinemas is a well-established pastime, acting as the second largest leisure activity in the UK and being a very affordable option relative to other activities.
Why Vue Entertainment?
Vue is a world class asset, and there are many reasons we were positive on the business. First, Vue provides a market-leading platform in European cinema. Vue is currently the #3 cinema operator in Europe, and the company has a very high quality cinema estate with young and modern theatres, fully digitalized equipment, state-of-the-art 4K projectors, and 3D capabilities. Vue also has an excellent management team, as the company’s three key executives founded the business and have over 70 years of combined industry experience. CEO Tim Richards is a Canadian national and key industry spokesman with numerous distinctions, including E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. Finally, we believe that Vue offers an excellent growth platform to expand into other countries with growing cinema markets, including those in Western Europe and the Baltic regions.