Guy Hands’ UK buyout firm Terra Firma is reportedly planning to sell portfolio companies this year that are likely to include European cinema chain Odeon & UCI group, in a bid to return cash to investors before attempting to raise its latest fund.
The Financial Times reported the news on Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.
The firm is first expected to sell Phoenix Natural Gas, a gas distribution and transmission company, and Inifinis, the UK’s largest producer of renewable energy, while the sale of Odeon would follow later in the year, the report said.
The sale of Odeon is expected to fetch at least £1.2bn, which the firm was hoping to fetch when it first tried to sell the company in 2011, which it shelved in favour of a refinancing.
Odeon’s earnings have increased since then, helped by films including Skyfall, the latest Bond film.
An adviser has not yet been appointed to manage the sale, which may only start next year, the report added.
Terra Firma bought Odeon in 2004 for €650m and merged the company with UCI, which it bought for €350m the same year, to create the UK’s largest cinema operator.
The sales will help return cash to Terra Firma’s investors as it looks to raise a new fund, the firm’s first since losing control of its stake in music publishing giant EMI to Citigroup in 2011.
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