German exhibition companies Cinemaxx and Ufa are to sever their co-operative partnership after little more than a year. The break-up of what would have become Germany's largest cinema chain follows the posting of CinemaxX's 2001 half-year losses of $22.5m (DM52.3m).
Last May CinemaxX founder Hans-Joachim Flebbe bought 10% of Ufa including an option for buying the rest. At the same time CinemaxX assumed operational control of the Ufa group of cinemas.
According to a report in the Financial Times Deutschland, the expectations which Ufa and its majority shareholders (the US insurance company Pricoa Capitals and investment company Apax Partners), had placed in the joint venture had not been fulfilled. Ufa will now resort to its own business strategy and management and continue its ongoing restructure of the company from its new base in Hamburg.
On Sunday 5th August Cinemaxx released a statement confirming that Ufa would be managing its own operations again from 1st September. "In spite of this," the release announced, "both companies want to continue a joint presence in various business fields". CinemaxX will continue to hold on to its 10% stake in Ufa Theater.