UK exhibitor Vue Entertainment has announced amanagement buyout in partnership with Bank of Scotland Corporate.

The bank is backing thecurrent management team in a deal valued about £350m and also is taking aminority stake in the company.

Previous investors BostonVentures, Clarity Partners and Legal & General Ventures have sold theirshareholdings to Vue and Bank of Scotland. Vue's management team, led by CEO Tim Richards, now controls 51% of the company.

'This is a landmarkevent for Vue Entertainment and is a goal that wehave been working toward for some considerable time," Richards said in astatement. "With the backing of our previous investors, we enjoyed exponentialgrowth and are now in strong position to take the business forward with our newpartners Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance. We are poised to realise ourfurther ambitions for Vue, to ensure the company goesfrom strength to strength, complemented by our strong team and our mission todeliver the best cinema entertainment experience in the UK."

Vue has also acquired five new Village Roadshow multiplexes in Birkenhead, Newcastle, Manchester Lowry, Carlisle and a soon-to-be-opened cinema in Lancaster.

Vue now has 55 cinemas in the UK and Ireland, with 544 screens and 126,351 seats. Its marketshare in the UK and Ireland is now more than 20%.