March 18, 2013

Bonnier and Ratos create the Nordic region’s leading cinema business

Agreements have been signed regarding a merger of SF Bio and Finnkino that together will form the Nordic region’s largest cinema group. The new business will be owned 60 percent by Ratos and 40 percent by Bonnier.

SF Bio and Finnkino are leaders in their respective markets and the two companies will continue under their current names. The new business will have operations in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Owners Ratos and Bonnier will support the new cinema group’s long-term growth ambitions in current and new markets.

“This deal is the best possible for Bonnier,” says Jonas Bonnier, CEO for Bonnier AB. “We will be part- owner in a new cinema business that has big growth possibilities. For Bonnier, this is an offensive move and we're incredibly enthusiastic about the future. Particularly exciting is that we will have Ratos as a partner. Bonnier’s long-term engagement in the film industry will continue as we start an exciting phase where the new cinema group can take both a leading position as the industry undergoes change and continue to promote a broad, local selection of films.”

“Ratos and Bonnier are a very strong owner combination for the new cinema group, with a focus on the long term, deep knowledge of the industry and financial strength,” says Susanna Campbell, CEO for Ratos. “We’re building the region’s biggest cinema group where strong local brands combine to be even more competitive and therefore ensure a continued attractive selection of films in the Nordic and Baltic regions.”

“The new business will have a dream position in the European cinema market,” says Jan Bernhardsson, CEO for SF Bio and the new cinema group. “Both SF Bio and Finnkino are growing profitably today. Together, we gain the power to invest further so we can offer moviegoers a good selection of films and the best possible cinema experience.”

The enterprise value for 100 percent of the company amounts to approximately SEK 3 billion. The new company will have sales of approximately SEK 2.6 billion, with an operating profit (EBITA) of approximately SEK 360 million. The acquisition consists of a merger of SF Bio and Finnkino and includes no capital from Bonnier or initially from Ratos.

SF Bio is the biggest cinema group in Sweden and has movie theaters as well in Norway. In total, SF Bio has 43 cinemas with 282 screens and 38,000 seats. Finnkino Oy is the largest cinema operator in Finland and the Baltic states with 24 cinemas, 158 screens and 27,000 seats. It also distributes films and DVDs.

SF Anytime, which today is part of SF Bio, is not part of the merger.

The deal is dependent on approval by the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed at the end of April 2013.