Cineworld set for Spanish screenings

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The cinema operator Cineworld unveiled its first overseas expansion yesterday after agreeing to buy Spain's fifth-biggest movie theatre chain.

Cineworld, which has 78 sites in the UK, is to buy Cinesur Circuito Sanchez-Ramade for an undisclosed sum. Cineworld believes Cinesur, which has 136 screens in its 11 multiplex sites, has the potential to expand further because the Spanish market is largely serviced by smaller operators.

Chief executive Stephen Wiener said the Spanish watch nearly as many films per head as UK cinema-goers and the market, which is already worth €800m (£700m) a year, has good growth prospects.

Cineworld was founded by Mr Wiener in 1995 and floated on the stock market in 2006 when it became the only publicly listed cinema company.