21 Invest has signed an agreement for the sale of The Space Cinema, the leading multiplex chain in Italy, to the UK based Vue Entertainment, the European leader in the multiplex industry, after a growth and consolidation strategy implemented over the course of five years.
The Space Cinema was founded in 2009, when 21 Invest simultaneously acquired the Warner Village Cinemas and Medusa chains, merging the two to create a leading player in the Italian market. It then further consolidated its leadership through 3 additional build-ups and 2 new openings, reaching a total of 36 multiplexes and a market share of over 20%. In addition to the numerous synergies obtained through consolidation and greater negotiating power with studios, the strategy of The Space Cinema redefined the business model of the Italian multiplex industry.
During the holding period the company made important technological investments to fully digitalize the network, introduced an innovative management of retail areas thereby significantly increasing the average sales per person and launched The Space Extra, a program offering non-film alternatives (sports, concerts, music, documentaries, classic movies, etc.), widening the range of programming. Entrance into the film distribution business with the creation of The Space Movies and the recent agreement with Universal in this context led to the birth of a unique business model in Europe which is a turning point in the industry. This strategy enabled The Space Cinema to achieve a significant growth in revenues, totaling now approximately Euro 170 million, and an impressive growth of more than 3x the EBITDA.
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