Danish major Nordisk Film has purchased all shares in Oslo Kino - Norway’s largest cinema chain - for $103m (NOK 600m) from the municipality of Oslo.
Nordisk, which co-owns Drammen’s KinoCity theatre, will take over the 15 cinemas in and outside Oslo during the second quarter of 2013, to control 28% of the Norwegian market.
Nordisk CEO Allan Hansen said: “For many years we have wanted to expand our activities in Norway, so we are happy Oslo chose us as the new owners.
“We carry 100 years of experience and love of cinema in our luggage, which we look forward to use in the development of Oslo Kino.”
Culture and trade commissioner Hallstein Bjercke said: “I am sure Oslo will become an even more exciting film city - and the money will be useful when the municipality will make other large investments in the area of culture.”
Council leader Stian Berger Røsland was confident “the sale to Nordisk would give people in Oslo the best possible offer of films in the future.”
Owned by Denmark’s Egmont media concern, Nordisk has partnership in several Norwegian film companies, including Filmweb, Neofilm and Maipo Film. Egmont itself controls several publishers, and from co-owner of Norwegian commercial broadcaster TV2 since 1992 it took over the whole station last year.
Oslo Kino operates seven theatres comprising 25 screens in Oslo and eight cinemas outside the capital through Norsk Kinodrift, selling 3 million tickets annually. Kinodrift and other subsidiaries Media Direct Norge and local distributor, Norsk Filmdistribusjon are included in the deal. Total turnover in 2012 was close to $900,000 (NOK 5 million).
Besides running 17 cinemas in Denmark, which last year took 6.1 million admissions, Nordisk Film develops, produces and markets creative content for films, computer games and live entertainment, also handling PlayStation for Sony in the Nordic countries.
With 1,400 employees, 2012 turnover was $435m (DKK 2,490m).