CJ CGV Co Ltd, South Korea's largest movie theater chain operator, said on Monday that, along with its partners, it is acquiring 100 percent of Turkey's MARS Entertainment Group A.Ş. for 605 million euros ($687.82 million).
CJ CGV said in a filing it will acquire a 38 percent stake in MARS, which operates 710 screens under the brand Cinemaximum, while multiple unnamed partners will acquire the remaining 62 percent.
MARS Entertainment Group was founded in 2001 by Menderes Utku and Muzaffer Yıldırım. As of 2015, MARS Cinema ran 736 screens in 83 cinemas in 32 cities, all over Turkey. Besides movie theaters, the group also operates fitness centers and spas under the MAC name. MAC sports centers will not be included in the deal. During the sale, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were consultants to Actera Group and Esas Holding, Citigroup was the consultant to CJ CGV.
CJ CGV operates in China, the U.S., Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, besides South Korea where it runs 249 cinemas. It is also reported the country plans to expand into the European market via Turkey, which makes the acquisition of MARS Group a strategic investment for CJ CGV.