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31 October 2004

Terra Firma announces acquisition of UCI

Terra Firma announces it has agreed to acquire UCI from Viacom (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B and Vivendi Universal (NYSE: V). The specific terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. The new company will be financed with a mixture of debt and equity with the debt being arranged by Barclays Capital.

UCI is one of the leading multiplex cinema groups in Europe and operates in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Austria. It runs 86 well-invested multiplex cinemas with a total of 834 screens, a substantial number of which are freeholds or long leaseholds. UCI’s operations in Japan, Brazil and Taiwan are not included in the acquisition and are anticipated to be retained by Viacom and Vivendi Universal or to be sold separately.

Completion of the acquisition is conditional upon various technical regulatory filings and consents in Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy and is expected to take place within approximately ten weeks of this announcement. Guy Hands, Chief Executive of Terra Firma Capital Partners, said:

“UCI is a leading international company in each of the different countries in which it operates, and I am delighted to announce today’s acquisition. Terra Firma strives to identify acquisition targets backed by hard assets with stable cash flows and consistent demand. UCI meets our investment strategy perfectly, providing us with the opportunity to add value through both operational and strategic change.”

Notes to Editors

Terra Firma pursues a contrarian investment strategy, primarily targeting large, out-of-favour and asset-intensive companies with strong and reliable cashflows operating in basic service industries. The firm has a hands-on management style, working directly with its portfolio businesses to overhaul operations and transform strategy. Terra Firma is the successor to Nomura's Principal Finance Group established in 1994. 


Debt provider

Barclays Capital

Advisor to Terra Firma 


Legal advisor 

Ashurst Morris Crisp

Accounting advisor


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