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Business News

Second big payday for Vue cinema chain founder after £935m deal

The Canadians are taking over the cinema chain Vue in a £935m deal that means a windfall for chief executive Tim Richards and private-equity backer Doughty Hanson.

Omers Private Equity (OPE), the investment arm of Canada's big public-sector pension fund, and Alberta Investment Management Corporation are the buyers.

Doughty claims to have more than doubled its original investment after buying Vue from Lloyds Banking Group in 2010 for £450m and making acquisitions in Germany and Poland. Vue is now the second-largest chain in Europe, with more than 1,300 screens.

Mr Richards, a Canadian, founded Vue in 2000 and made a reported £25m when Doughty bought it. He will stay on, and plans to make more acquisitions.

Mark Redman, OPE's senior managing director, said cinema provides "steady, solid growth". He added: "The death of cinema has been forecast probably since TV came along. But the proof is in the audience numbers."