Vue Entertainment, the UK’s leading developer and operator of state-of-the-art cinemas, was today sold by its controlling private equity shareholders to a management buyout team in partnership with Bank of Scotland Corporate, through its Integrated Finance Team. This transaction sees the sale of the shareholdings of the previous investors, US private equity firms Boston Ventures and Clarity Partners plus Legal & General Ventures, as well as those of individual shareholders. The Bank of Scotland has backed the incumbent management team, led by CEO Tim Richards, in a deal valued in the region of £350m with Vue’s management team acquiring a controlling 51 per cent of the company and the Bank taking a minority stake in the business.
The buyout will allow management to continue with the growth of their business which over the past 2 years has seen the Company’s market share of the UK and Irish box office increase to over 20 per cent. Vue’s circuit has now reached a landmark of 55 cinemas with 544 screens and 126,351 seats which attract over 30 million customers per annum. Vue Entertainment has the most modern cinemas in the UK, with over 90 per cent stadium seating and it won the award for International Exhibitor of the Year at Cinema Expo in 2005.
International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted for the principal selling shareholders, Boston Ventures and Clarity Partners, alongside Phil Smith of Ropes and Gray from Boston. London corporate partner Laurie McFadden led the team, assisted by corporate associates David Jackson and Julia Tarvin.