Convenience store chain Lawson is set to acquire Japan’s third largest theatre operator United Cinemas in a deal thought to be worth around $100m by the end of the month.
Ranked after Toho Cinemas and Aeon Entertainment, United Cinemas operates 36 theatres with 331 screens.
Having acquired music and film retailer HMV Japan in 2010, Lawson has been selling concert and cinema tickets as well as music and film merchandise through subsidiary Lawson HMV Entertainment.
Lawson, Inc. announced yesterday (Aug 6) that it has authorized Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc. to acquire shares in United Entertainment Holdings Co., Ltd., the holding company for United Cinemas Co., Ltd. with funds serviced by Advantage Partners, LLP.
The share transfer is set to be completed on August 28. Advantage Partners acquired its United Cinema shares in 2012 from trading house Sumitomo Corp.
The deal is estimated to be worth around JPY10bn ($97.7m).
Lawson’s post-acquisition initiatives include encouraging customers to “frequent all our services across Lawson stores, HMV stores, E-commerce and movie theaters”, offering special privileges to their approximately 64 million Ponta point reward card members, and promoting live broadcast events in their cinemas.