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Vue considers bold £600m bid for Odeon cinemas

Vue International is reportedly considering a bold £600m bid for rival cinema chain Odeon.

The offer could be made when the business, owned by private equity firm Terra Firma, is put up for sale over the next few months, reported the Times. According to sources close to Vue, the business is giving serious consideration to becoming a key contender for the Odeon business, which could go on sale as soon as October.

Odeon’s owners expect the cinema chain to go for £1bn. It is not the first time Terra Firma has tried to sell the business with the venture capitalists putting it up for sale in 2011, while Vue considered a bid in 2013.

An Odeon spokesman quoted by the newspaper denied any deal was already in the works. “We are not considering it today,” was the response issued.

The deal between two of Britain’s three biggest cinema operators could see them swell to 452 across the region. Any tie-up would give both chains the expanded footprint to soften the expected fall in attendance in 2016 as well boost revenues via the more screens.

Odeon, which runs 243 screens in seven countries, revealed revenue rose 17.1 per cent to £348.7m in the first half of the year, while attendance climbed 13.8 per cent, almost double the 7.3 per cent market growth.

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