By Joanne Bladd
Dubai retail giant snaps up 49 percent stake in cinema operator from Australian firm
Amalgamated Holdings Limited, the Australian entertainment and leisure operator, has sold its Middle East cinema interests to Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Group in a transaction valued at A$78.7m (AED283m, $77.1m).
The listed firm said it booked a A$60.6m ($59.3m) profit on the sale of its 49 percent stake in Dubai-based MAF Greater Union, a joint venture between AHL and Majid Al Futtaim Group.
MAF Greater Union manages the Cinestar chain of cinemas across the UAE, operating five cinemas and 50 screens. Majid Al Futtaim Group is now understood to be the sole owner.
The circuit had previously been operated by AHL.
Majid Al Futtaim Group is the largest developer and operator of shopping malls in the Middle East, with a retail portfolio that includes Mall of the Emirates, Dubai and Mirdif City Centre.
The conglomerate in 2009 reported full year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of AED1.59bn.
AHL holds cinema and hotel interests in New Zealand, Australia and Germany.