The UK's Odeon Cinemas isreportedly going up for auction just a year after it was taken over by aconsortium including Nigel and Trevor Green's Entertainment Group, propertytycoon Robert Tchenguiz and German bank West LB.
One of the leading likelybids, from Tchenguiz, is reportedly £50m less than the original price tag.
The auction comes after theGreen brothers and Tchenguiz apparently failed to agree on a deal to buy outthe third owner, WestLB. Under the terms of a shareholder agreement, the optionthe two shareholders had over WestLB's 43% stake will expire at the end of themonth, triggering an auction of the entire business by Goldman Sachs andCitigroup.
Tchenguiz, who controls 35%while the Greens have 22%, has said he would like to takeover the chain, whichlast week appointed media executive Tim Schoonmaker as chief executive.
Tchenguiz is understood tohave equity and debt funding in place for an outright acquisition backed byDresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein with the price-tag of £380m.
WestLB led the £430m buy-outof Odeon last year from private equity firm Cinven but has been trying toreduce its exposure to investments from its London-based principal financeunit, previously headed by city hotshot Robin Saunders.