A new bidder, independentexhibitor Triangelfilm, has said it would like to buy the Sandrew Metronome'scinema chain to stop it being sold to rival SF Bio.

Sweden's second biggest exhibitor Sandrew Metronomeannounced in August that it had sold its cinema chain to SF Bio. The deal meantthat SF Bio, owned by Swedish media major Bonnier Group, would control morethan 75% of the Swedish exhibition sector.

The deal has been heavily criticised in Sweden and has gonebefore the country's competition commission, which is expected to reach adecision next week.

Up until now, it has been said that the CompetitionAuthority faced an impossible task: either they approved the deal against theirown principles, or they let Sandrew Metronome's cinema chain close down forgood as there were no other bidders

'I have everything you need for a purchase: theeconomic means, the competence, the management and the films,' MattiasNohrborg, CEO of Triangelfilm told ScreenDaily.com. 'This is a terribly serious situation. Iwouldn't buy the cinemas for fun, I would do it to prevent a film politicalcatastrophe.'

He added: 'What I say is that there is anotherpotential buyer apart from SF Bio. Sandrew Metronome has only been in touch with one party.'

Earlier this autumn, Stenbeck-owned Modern Times Group (MTG)said that it might have been interested in bidding if only they had known thatSandrew Metronome's cinemas were for sale.

Sandrew Metronome's cinema chain consists of 22 cinemas with90 screens in 15 cities throughout Sweden. The price of the cinema chain issaid to be $13.7m (SEK 100m), excluding the cost of the necessary restorationof approximately a third of the cinemas.

Triangelfilm was founded in 1988 and owns three cinematheatres. Last year, its annual turnover was $7.8m (SEK 57m).