UK cinema exhibitor Vue Entertainment is to acquire Polish cinema chain Multikino from its owner ITI Group. The transaction will be completed once the approval of the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection is obtained. Value of deal was not disclosed. It is Vue's third major recent deal after the acquisition of Apollo in the UK and CinemaxX in Germany in 2012. Vue acquired Apollo's 14 sites with around 83 screens in mid 2012 and sold four sites to Reel Cinema later. Just weeks later, Vue took over German exhibitor CinemaxX at a value of EUR147m, which gave Vue a 84.6 per cent share of the company. CinemaxX operates 267 screens over 31 sites in Germany and another 3 sites with 25 screens in Denmark. Now with Multikino's 231 screens in 28 sites in Poland and another 2 sites and 15 screens in Baltics, the combined group will number around 145 sites and 1,301 screens across the world (UK, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Baltics and Taiwan).
Since the domestic exhibition market is relatively concentrated (the top three exhibitors account for 62.6 per cent of the total screens in the UK), Vue turned its expansion to the European market where it has more opportunities for growth. Vue now has a market share (by screens) of 18.7 per cent in the UK, 20.3 per cent in Poland and 5.8 per cent in Germany (Germany has a more fragmented market). Vue has expanded its business scale rapidly in the past few months through acquisitions, which will not only strengthen its European presence but also enlarge its negotiation power with major studios. In addition, Vue has more power to compete with its major rival UCI Odeon, who also has a strong presence in the European market. UCI Odeon currently operates in seven territories: UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal and Ireland with a combined number of 2,179 screens across 236 cinemas.