The Finnish multiplex operator Finnkino OY and local department store group Stockmann will invest $39m in a cinema and retail complex in the Latvian capital of Riga. Stockmann is providing $23m, while Finnkino will contribute $16.2m to the project.
The six-storey building to be completed in the autumn of 2003, will house 14 screens with 3,000 seats to be operated by Baltic Cinema SIA, a subsidiary of Finnkino. The department store will cover an area of 11000 square metres and include restaurants and other ancilliary services.
In Finland, Finnkino operates 15 theatres with a total of 69 screens and runs its own distribution arm. In the three Baltic countries, Finnkino operates in each territory through separate subsidiary companies. In Latvia through exhibitor and distributor Baltic Cinema SIA, with three sites and four screens in Riga, in Estonia through Motion Picture Distribution of Estonia which operates three cinemas with a total of 15 screens, while the Lithuanian operation UAB Vingio Kino Teatras consists of one four-screen theatre in Vilnius.
Finnkino OY is owned by the Finnish trade and service company Rautokirja Group, which will soon be merged into its principal shareholder, the media group SanomaWSOY. Latvia is a new territory for retailer Stockmann, which is already present in the Baltic territories with the second largest department store in the Estonian capital Tallin.