SINGAPORE: Entertainment company mm2 Asia announced on Thursday (Nov 2) it has entered into an option agreement to acquire the Cathay brand, as well as all of Cathay Cineplexes' Singapore cinema operations.
The company will fork out S$230 million for the deal – S$15 million as deposit and another S$215 million six months after completion, which is set for Nov 24.
In a press release, mm2 Asia said the acquisition is part of its "planned strategic expansion of its cinema business". The deal will see it take over the city's eight Cathay cinemas, bringing its total number of screens to 206 across 27 locations, including in Malaysia.
Mr Melvin Ang, group executive chairman of mm2 Asia, said: "Many Singaporeans grew up with the highlight of their weekend or school holiday being a visit to Cathay cinemas. The Cathay name is very much a part of Singapore's history and mm2 is proud to be entrusted with the Cathay legacy."
He added that his team is "resolved to not only zealously protect Cathay Cinemas' legacy, but also realise (the) vision for Cathay Cinemas to be one of the major film exhibitors in the Asian market that is held by Cathay Organisation's managing director Choo Meileen.
Ms Choo said "letting go" was a "very difficult decision".
"Cathay cinemas have been in the hands of my family for more than eight decades. It has met and weathered many challenges from within and from without and survived," said Ms Choo.
"However, the environment has changed and for an entertainment company to survive today, it needs to extend its reach broadly ... Big is better to meet future challenges," she added.