New York/London, December 2, 2004: Cineworld UK Limited today announced the acquisition of UGC’s cinema operations in the UK and Ireland from UGC S.A.. UGC is the third largest operator of cinemas in the UK, operating 408 screens in 42 cinemas.
Earlier this year Cineworld, controlled by The Blackstone Group, acquired Cine-UK Ltd, then the fifth largest cinema operator in the UK. With UGC, the group will become the second largest cinema operator in the UK.
Lawrence H. Guffey, a Senior Managing Director of the Blackstone Group, said: “This latest transaction re-affirms our commitment to the UK cinema market, which we continue to believe offers attractive growth prospects. We are particularly enthusiastic about the strength and depth of the combined management team, which will be key to making our investment a success.”
Steve Wiener, Chief Executive of Cine-UK comments: “Thanks to the hard work of all the people at Cine-UK and UGC, and the support of the Blackstone Group, our teams will be able to build what we believe will become one of the best cinema circuits in Europe”.
Lehman Brothers acted as M&A Advisor and Barclays Capital provided debt financing on behalf of CineWorld / Blackstone.
About The Blackstone Group
The Blackstone Group, a private investment and advisory firm with offices in New York, London, Hamburg and Paris, was founded in 1985. The firm has raised a total of approximately $32 billion for alternative asset investing since its formation. Over $14 billion of that has been for private equity investing, including Blackstone Capital Partners IV, the largest institutional private equity fund ever raised at $6.45 billion. In addition to Private Equity Investing, The Blackstone Group’s core businesses are Private Real Estate Investing, Corporate Debt Investing, Marketable Alternative Asset Management, Corporate Advisory, and Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory. www.blackstone.com