Bridgepoint acquires Nordic Cinema Group, a leading cinema operator, from Ratos AB and Bonnier Holding

Bridgepoint, the European private equity group, has acquired the majority of Nordic Cinema Group (‘NCG’), from Ratos AB and Bonnier Holding in a transaction totalling SEK 4.7 billion.

Headquartered in Stockholm, NCG is the leading cinema operator in the Nordic region with 66 cinemas, 444 screens and a 44% share of total Nordic box office revenues. NCG was formed in 2013 through the merger of SF Bio and Finnkino, although its presence in the region was built up over many decades through greenfield investments and consolidation in larger cities.

58% of NCG’s shares are owned by private equity conglomerate Ratos, 40% is owned by Bonnier Holding and the remainder is owned by management. Under the terms of this acquisition, Bridgepoint will become the majority shareholder, with Bonnier re-investing part of its proceeds to take a reduced stake alongside management. Ratos will therefore divest its entire stake in NCG.

Nordic Cinema Group President and CEO Jan Bernhardssonsaid: “We are glad that Bridgepoint sees great potential in Nordic Cinema Group and our strategy. Our focus in the coming years will be to continue develop the cinema experience, bringing the different parts of our group together and expanding our footprint further. We are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that lies ahead of us, and we look forward to working with Bridgepoint and Bonnier on that journey.”

Mikael Lövgren, Chairman of Bridgepoint in the Nordic region, added: “We believe in the future of cinema and together with the strong management team at NCG we are looking forward to continue to develop the company. We believe there is scope to further enrich the whole cinema experience, from the venue in itself, sound, seats and availability to food and drinks. We also see potential for NCG to accelerate its growth in the region and in adjacent countries at a time when the popularity of film and cinema remains abuoyant part of the entertainment industry.”

In 2014 NCG had total revenues of SEK 2.61 billion and EBITDA of SEK 533 million. The completion of the transaction requires approval from relevant authorities.

Advisers involved in this transaction included:

For Bridgepoint: ​
M&A: Access Partners and Nomura
Financial, tax, pension and IT due diligence: KPMG
Commercial due diligence: BCG, Pragma
Lawyers: Hannes Snellman, Wiersholm, Sorainen, Travers Smith
Insurance due diligence: Marsh

For management:
Hansen Law and Castlegreen

Source: Press Release

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