Odeon & UCI is Europe's leading cinema operator
Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group (Odeon & UCI) is a leading pan-European cinema operator with market-leading positions in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Italy and a strong presence in Germany, Portugal and Austria.
Terra Firma acquired Odeon and UCI as two separate businesses in late 2004 and merged them to create a leading European cinema operator. Odeon had historically suffered from a lack of clear strategic direction. UCI, meanwhile, was considered non-core by its previous owners and had gone through a period of under-investment. The merger of the two groups offered the chance to unlock value through integration savings and to take advantage of opportunities for further consolidation within the European cinema industry.
The strategy for the combined business has been to focus on its differentiated strategy of delivering superior operating performance through four focus areas: commercial excellence to drive revenue; transforming operations to improve the customer experience; applying industry best practice to maximise retail sales; and creating a high performance culture with the most motivated and guest-centric employees in the industry.
Until UK competition clearance was received, the two businesses were run by interim CEOs seconded from Terra Firma. Thereafter, new senior management, including the CEO and CFO, were brought in to manage the combined business, oversee implementation of the new strategy and introduce clear operational and investment discipline. In 2014, a new senior management team was put in place to lead the business through its next phase of transformation.
Significant investment was made to enhance the customer experience at Odeon & UCI, which included opening new sites and installing premium seating across all territories. The food and beverage range was broadened, with a focus on more healthy options.
In 2007, after two years of improved performance, the business was restructured by separating the UK properties from the operational business of screening films. This restructuring enabled Terra Firma to return funds to its investors. In 2011, the company refinanced its debt by issuing bonds enabling it to lower its cost of capital, finance a number of acquisitions and further its growth plans.
The Odeon & UCI investment has been fully realised. In December 2016, ODEON & UCI was sold to AMC Theatres.