Bridgepoint acquires majority stake in Nordic Cinema Group

The deal will see Bridgepoint spend SEK 4.7 billion on the Nordic region’s largest cinema group

European private equity firm Bridgepoint will spend SEK 4.7 billion ($550 million; €501.41 million) to acquire majority stakes in Nordic Cinema Group from Ratos AB and Bonnier Holding, according to a statement by the firm.

The deal will make Bridgepoint the majority shareholder in NCG, 58 percent of which is currently owned by Ratos and 40 percent by Bonnier. Ratos will divest its entire stake in NCG and Bonnier will re-invest some of its proceeds to take a reduced stake in the Stockholm-based company alongside its existing management.

“We are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead of us, and we look forward to working with Bridgepoint and Bonnier on that journey,” said NCG president and chief executive officer Jan Bernhardsson in the statement.

NCG, formed in 2013 when SF Bio and Finnkino merged, has 66 cinemas, 444 screens and a 44 percent share of total Nordic box office revenues; its total revenues for 2014 amounted to SEK 2.61 billion ($305.44 million; €278.45 million) with an EBITDA of SEK 533 million ($62.44 million; €56.90 million).

Bridgepoint has made the investment from its latest European mid-market buyout fund, Bridgepoint Europe V, which closed on €4 billion in March. The oversubscribed fund, which came to market in May 2014, exceeded its original target of €3.5 billion. The committed capital includes a GP commitment of €100 million.

Earlier this year Bridgepoint used the new vehicle to acquire Italian-themed casual dining restaurant group Azzurri, which includes the ASK Italian and Zizzi brands, for £250 million from fellow European buyout house Cinven.

The deal received support from advisors such as Nomura, KPMG, BCG and Castlegreen.