Ster Century Europe has sold its Polish and Greek cinema operations for a combined Euros 30.6m.
The company's four-multiplex Polish circuit, which includes three sites and 37 screens in Warsaw and one site in Wroclaw with 9 screens, has been sold to IT International Cinemas for Euros19.8m.
A major multiplex operator in Central Europe, the Israeli-owned IT entered the Polish market in 1999, and prior to the sale had over 40 screens in Poland with additional plans for expansion.
Meanwhile, Ster's Greek interests have been sold to Drematco. These include an 11-screen site in Thessaloniki and a 10-screen site due to open in Athens in 2003. Purchase price was Euros10.75m.
"We believe the sales represent good shareholder value for Ster Century," said David Coutts-Trotter, chairman of Ster Century Europe. "We are continuing with our strategy to maximise the performance of the cinemas in the territories we still operate."
The sales leave Ster Century Europe with only eight sites - four in the UK, one in Ireland, one in Slovakia and two in Spain. It remains to be seen whether these will be sold: the entire circuit was once on the auction block, but was withdrawn after a $80m refinancing package was secured last year.
The company, which is owned by South African leisure group Kersaf Investments, South African media group Primedia, and ING Bank, recently offloaded its Czech and Hungarian multiplexes to UCI Central Europe.