Doughty wins battle for Vue

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The Independent Online

Doughty Hanson has agreed to buy Vue Entertainment, Britain's third-biggest cinema chain, in a deal believed to be worth £450m, including debt.

The private equity firm agreed to buy the business from Cavendish Square Partners, a joint venture between the private equity group Coller Capital and Lloyds Banking Group , the US hedge fund Och-Ziff and existing management.

Britain's cinema business is dominated by private equity: the top player, Odeon, is owned by Guy Hands' Terra Firma, and number two, Cineworld, is backed by Blackstone.

Cinema's powers of cash-generation and resistance to recession drew a range of bidders and Doughty beat off rival bids from BC Partners and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.