Village Roadshow faces potential upheaval, after the cinema and theme parks business received a takeover offer from a private equity firm.
The conditional and non-binding offer comes from Pacific Equity Partners and – at $3.90-per-ordinary-share – is worth almost $1 billion.
In a note to shareholders, Village Roadshow said it is in the best interest of shareholders to explore the deal.
“The Board believes that shareholders’ interests are best served by conducting exploratory discussions with PEP [Pacific Equity] to determine whether a proposal that is in the best interests of VRL shareholders can be put forward,” Village Roadshow said.
“As part of these exploratory discussions, VRL is prepared to provide PEP with due diligence information, subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement.”
Village Roadshow’s share prices jumped 17.5 per cent following news of the potential takeover.
The deal is still subject to the completion of due diligence and financing. Village Roadshow said it will inform shareholders of the outcome “as soon as it is in the position to do so”.
Village Roadshow posted a strong $20.6 million net profit for the 2018-2019 financial year, which followed a $7.3 million loss the previous year.
The Sydney Morning Herald has previously reported on a feud between founders the Kirby family and CEO Graham Burke [feature image] over how the business was being run, following a drop in share prices.
Former Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh joined the board of Village Roadshow in July this year.
It’s not the first time Pacific Equity has dabbled in the film industry.
Back in 2007, it acquired Hoyts for $440 million in 2007, before selling it in 2014 to a Chinese finance company for $800 million.