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Clarke Willmott acts in cinema acquisition deal

Clarke Willmott  has acted in a deal which will see Ireland’s largest cinema company expand into Great Britain.

Omniplex Cinema Group has acquired five Empire Cinema locations, after Empire entered into administration, the total investment will exceed  £22 million.

The deal will see the rebranded Omniplex Cinemas open in Birmingham, Ipswich, Sutton, Clydebank and High Wycombe in December 2023 with more to be announced in 2024.

Clarke Willmott’s Amanda French, Head of the Retail and Leisure sector, alongside insolvency partner Ken MacLennan led on the deal on behalf of Omniplex.

Amanda French said: “We’re delighted to have acted on this deal which means five cinemas are saved from closure and 150 existing jobs are secured. The Omniplex Cinema Group is well known in Ireland and its expansion into Great Britain is an exciting move for the brand.

Cinemas are a hugely important part of our leisure industry and I’m sure this investment by Omniplex will result in more footfall and income for surrounding restaurants and shops in these locations.”

Omniplex Cinema Group is making a total investment of £22.5 million over eighteen months to acquire and renovate the existing locations. With the cinema company already operating 38 separate cinema locations on the island of Ireland, it has signalled its commitment to establishing a strong presence in the British cinema market.

Paul John Anderson, Director of the Omniplex Cinema Group, said: “We are thrilled to bring Omniplex Cinemas to Great Britain. Our disciplined approach to investing in our businesses and unwavering drive to operate high-quality cinema locations have proved successful over the years on the island of Ireland and has given us the confidence to venture into new territories. This expansion is a testament to our commitment to innovation, quality, and delivering unforgettable moments for our customers.”

Omniplex Cinema Group is renowned for its cutting-edge projection technology, digital sound facilities, and unwavering dedication to delivering the ultimate cinematic experience.

Other advisors from Clarke Willmott also acted on the deal including Chris Connors (tax), Sharon Latham (employment), and Simon Smith (corporate).

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Amanda French


Amanda specialises in portfolio management and store development programmes for multi-national retail businesses. She is also experienced in managing investment portfolios.
View profile for Amanda French >

Ken MacLennan


Bristol, Cardiff and Taunton
Ken MacLennan is a partner in Clarke Willmott’s Bristol Insolvency & Restructuring team and has a wide range of experience in corporate restructuring.
View profile for Ken MacLennan >

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