* Nordea lined up to advise on sale
* Deal could be worth about $300 mln
By Sven Nordenstam
STOCKHOLM, Dec 20 Swedish media group Bonnier
wants to sell its SF cinema chain early next year and has lined
up Nordic bank Nordea to advise on a deal that could be
worth about 2 billion crowns ($306 million), sources familiar
with the matter told Reuters.
Possible bidders include private equity firms which have
previously shown interest in the sector, such as Sweden's Ratos
which owns Finnkino, the biggest cinema chain in
Finland and the Baltic countries.
A number of international private equity firms which also
own or have owned stakes in the sector, such as Terra Firma
, Doughty Hanson and Blackstone, could also
be potential bidders.
Privately-held Bonnier declined to comment, as did Nordea.
Doughty Hanson owns Vue, one of Britain's largest cinema
operators, which expanded in Europe this year through the
purchase of Germany's Cinemaxx with its 34 cinemas
spread across Germany and Denmark.
Terra Firma owns Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe's biggest
movie theatre chain, while Blackstone used to own
Cineworld which is listed in London.
Another interested party could be BC Partners
which was one of the final bidders for Vue before it was sold to
Doughty in 2010 and which showed interest in Odeon after that.
SF operates more than 40 cinemas with a total of about
38,000 seats, most of them in Sweden and the rest in Norway.
SF's Swedish cinemas had revenues of 1.4 billion Swedish
crowns last year and generated earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of just over 180 million
If the Norwegian cinemas have the same level of
profitability, the combined Swedish and Norwegian businesses
could generate annual earnings of about 220 million crowns.
The valuations of Cineworld and Warsaw-listed Cinema City
, as well as those in deals for Vue and cinema chain
Picturehouse, range from 7.5 to 9.5 times full-year EBITDA, on a
Using the same multiples, the SF cinemas would command a
value of between 1.7 billion and 2.1 billion Swedish crowns
based on last year's earnings.