A group of investors is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire Karo Film, Russia’s second largest cinema chain.

The deal would aquire the chain, which comprises 29 cinemas with 174 screens, from founder and chairman Leonid Ogorodnikov and could reach $450 million. An agreement is expected to be finalized by the end of the current month.

Among the investors is Paul Het who has long worked in the Russian film business and the founder and former owner of Kinostar de Lux, which last year was sold to Russia’s largest chain, Cinema Park.

The bidders have petitioned the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service for approval of the transaction.  

Established in 1991, Karo also owns two distribution companies: Karo Prokat and Karo Premier.

The company was the largest cinema chain in Russia until last summer when Cinema Park acquired Kinostar de Lux.  Cinema Park operates 27 cinemas with 252 screens.