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Village Roadshow gets $523m takeover bid from Pacific Equity Partners

Village Roadshow Sea World The New Atlantis

Village Roadshow Limited (VRL) has received a takeover bid worth $523 million from private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners (PEP). Village Roadshow is Australia’s largest theme park operator.

The company released a statement on Thursday (December 19) saying that PEP has made an offer of A$3.90 ($2.68) per ordinary share, equating to A$761.2 million ($523 million).

Pacific Equity Partners has also already agreed to buy 19 percent of Village Roadshow Corporation, a private company and Village Roadshow’s largest shareholder with a 34 percent stake.

Village Roadshow said that the proposal “is conditional and there is no certainty that it will result in a transaction”.

Village Roadshow is considering proposal from PEP

The statement also says the proposal is subject to various conditions, including “completion of due diligence, arrangement of financing, FIRB approval, and recommendation by the VRL board”.

The VRL board is now considering the proposal and getting financial and legal advice.

“The process may take some time and there can be no certainty that an acceptable proposal will eventuate,” reads the statement.

Village Roadshow owns 31 percent of sales and production company FilmNation, as well as a 24 percent stake in cinema chain iPic, which went bankrupt in August. It also owns a 20 percent stage in Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (VREG).

‘No certainty the bid will result in a transaction’

In addition, the company operates Lionsgate Entertainment World at Novotown, an integrated resort (IR) and entertainment hub on Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, China.

It also owns Village Roadshow Studios, a theme park and film studios, used to shoot Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, and Kong: Skull Island.

Earlier this year, Village Roadshow named Clark Kirby as CEO, replacing current chief executive Graham Burke from January 1, 2020.

In addition to his role as CEO, Kirby will remain head of Village Roadshow’s largest division, theme parks, and will still be based in Queensland.

Images: Village Roadshow

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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