Norway’s largest public cinema circuit Oslo Municipal Cinemas (Oslo Kino) has signed a deal with Norway’s Schibsted Media Group to buy Sandrew Metronome Norge, the country’s leading distributor which captured 19.5% share of market share in 2010.

Earlier this month (Mar 10) Schibsted announced it would close down Sandrew Metronome Sverige, its Swedish theatrical arm and the local 2010 market leader (with Nordisk Film), following its decision a year ago to wind down its film activities.

“It has been important for us to find a professional and integral solution for the company, and we think the sale to Oslo Kino will contribute to maintain the diversity within Norwegian cinema,” said Rolv Erik Ryssdal [pictured] of Norwegian media company Schibsted.

”The take-over is very exciting indeed,” said Frida Ohrvik, who has served as managing director of Sandrew Metronome Norge since it was instigated as Norsk Filmdistribusjon. ”Film is the core business of Oslo Kino, so we will be able to bring in our knowledge and commitment.”

Last November Schibsted cancelled its contract with Warner Bros Pictures International for Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, citing the need to “adapt to dramatically changed conditions in the market”. At the time Schibsted said it was also ceasing all theatrical distribution in Denmark.

Last year Oslo Kino, which operates eight theatres with 32 screens, paid $3.6m (NOK 20) to purchase Media Direct, a cinema commercials company. Since last year it also controls Norsk Kinodrift, which runs theatres at nine Norwegian venues.

As of Jun 1, Sandrew Metronome Norge will become a subsidiary under its original name, Norsk Filmdistribusjon.