Cinema Sell-Off


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "New Warsaw Express"

Still on the cinema front, Polish media group ITI showed some of its financial muscle this week, buying out the Multikino network of multi-screen cinemas from Hollywood studio-owned UCI. ITI, which is the force behind Poland's third biggest terrestrial TV channel TVN and internet portal Onet.pl, already held 50 percent in Multikino's seven cinemas across Poland. It will pay UCI - a joint venture of Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures - $15 million for the remaining half of the company.
However, opinion is a bit divided on whether ITI is getting a good deal. Cinema attendance in Poland, at an annual average of 1-2 visits per capita, remains well below that in Western Europe; UCI is not the first international player to withdraw. But ITI chief Jan Wejchert says the company sees good prospects for the business in the medium and long term. "Frequency of visits in Poland and ticket prices are still lower than the European average," he said, arguing that this shows the space available for growth. Multikino made an operating profit last year of just over $2 million.

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