LONDON Jan 7 The private equity group Terra
Firma plans to sell assets this year that are likely
to include the European cinema chain Odeon & UCI Group to raise
more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion), the Financial Times
said on Monday.
The group, which is led by dealmaker Guy Hands, plans first
to sell the energy firms Phoenix Natural Gas and Infinis before
selling Odeon later in the year, the paper cited one person
familiar with the situation as saying.
The disposal plans are part of an effort by Hands to return
cash to his backers before attempting to raise a new buyout
fund, the FT said.
Odeon, which operated 231 cinemas across Europe at the end
of 2011, was valued at 1.2 billion pounds two years ago when
Hands first tried to sell it. He shelved sale talks in favour of
a refinancing of the chain.
Its sale would likely attract interest from the same bidders
as last time, such as the rival chain Vue, which is owned by the
private equity firm Doughty Hanson, and BC Partners
, the FT said, citing people familiar with the
Terra Firma was not immediately available to comment.