Exclusive: Apollo cinemas poised for sale to Vue

 

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The Independent Online

The UK's biggest independent cinema chain, Apollo, is thought to be close to a sale to larger, private equity-owned rival Vue.

The £20.2m-revenue, family-owned Apollo, which has 14 cinemas across the country and more in the pipeline, is best known for its screens in Piccadilly Circus.

However, the group is loss-making and has been attempting to become the clear number four in the market, behind Vue, Odeon and Cineworld. That trio have about three-quarters of the UK market.

Last year Apollo hired consultants at Deloitte to run a strategic review, though an outright sale was not thought to be considered. It was believed a sale would be difficult due to wrangling over the estate of Anita Gregg, the late wife of founder Paul Gregg.

If the row hasn't been settled, the price could be higher than £15m, said an industry expert.

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