Onex Corp of Toronto and Los Angeles-based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management have acquired top Mexico City exhibitor Grupo Cinemex for approximately $295m. Cinemex co founder Matthew Heyman, who was closely involved in the transaction, has resigned from his post as co-chief executive
officer. "I have reached a point in my life where I would like to seek new and different opportunities with respect to my career and investments, " said Heyman in a statement. "The sale of Cinemex will economically allow me to pursue a variety of alternatives," he added.
Founded in 1994, Cinemex is the Mexican capital's largest and the country's second largest exhibition circuit with 349 screens in 31 locations. Main investors included JP Morgan Partners and the Bluhm family of Chicago as well as Hoyts Cinema which bought a 30% stake in 1997.
Cinemex is renowned as the largest venture capital start-up in Mexican history. Originally funded with $21.5m, the company yielded its initial investors a compound annual rate of return in excess of 20% over its eight+ year investment horizon. In 2001, Cinemex boasted sales in excess of $140m and EBITDA of roughly $43m.
In stark contrast to their Mexican purchase, Onex Corp and Oaktree Capital Management jointly acquired less than robust companies in the US such as Loews Cineplex Entertainment, which they bought for $850m earlier this year. Founded in1904, the bankrupt U.S. circuit operated nearly 3,000 screens.
Heyman and his partners Miguel Angel Davila and Adolfo Fastlicht were unavailable for comment.