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Terra Firma Weighs Sale of Odeon & UCI

Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma is considering a sale of the Odeon & UCI cinema chain, Reuters reported. The firm has been in talks with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which may advise the firm on a potential sale, Reuters wrote. The business is expected to fetch at least $1.1 billion.

(Reuters) – Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma [TERA.UL] is weighing the sale of the Odeon & UCI [ODCNM.UL] cinema chain, people familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The buyout house has been talking to Bank of America Merrill Lynch , seen as a logical choice of adviser given its close links to the firm, about options for the business, though no formal mandate has been awarded, two people said.

A sale of the business could fetch between 700 million pounds ($1.1 billion) and 1 billion, the Financial Times said.

A refinancing of the business is also an option and no firm decision has been taken to sell, one of the people said.

Terra Firma received approaches for the business last year after the sale of rival chain Vue Entertainment [VUENT.UL] to Doughty Hanson [DOUHA.UL], including one from BC Partners [BCPRT.UL], which had been narrowly pipped in that auction, people said at the time.

Vue was also cited as a potential acquirer of Odeon by the FT.

Terra Firma and Bank of America declined comment.

(Reporting by Simon Meads, Victoria Howley and Karolina Tagaris; Editing by David Holmes)

($1=.6212 Pound)